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Police Call Fires in Lock Haven Suspicious

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. -- Several fires that started over the weekend in Lock Haven are now being called suspicious.

Emergency responders found three separate fires on the same property in Lock Haven on Sunday. Now, police are looking to find out who set them.

Police are asking for the community's support to help find who may have set the fires outside the former Fallon Hotel in downtown Lock Haven.

According to the fire chief, the fires were all set and then put out within a few hours.

Firefighters put out flames inside a truck parked behind the former hotel on East Water Street around 4 p.m. Sunday.

When they got there, Fire Chief Robert Neff says something else caught their attention.

"We heard a noise coming from the center of the building and went back to check to see what that noise was and that ended up being the building on fire," Chief Neff said.

Stairs leading to a back door of the building caught fire.

Soon after calling for backup, Chief Neff says a third fire was found near another entrance to the building.

"In a pile of leaves in a basement access to the building," Neff said.

Chief Neff says that's when he called for police to investigate.

Lock Haven police are calling it suspicious.

"I have no doubt in my mind somebody set those fires because those leaves didn't just burst into flames and neither did the steps that the fire was set on," said Neff.

According to the Lock Haven fire chief, a dumpster fire started behind a few homes near the hotel around the same time. That fire is also being called suspicious.

"So while we were here at this fire, whoever set the fire in the dumpster knowing very well that we wouldn't be able to respond the dumpster fire in a timely fashion, set that on fire," Neff said.

Over a century old, the Fallon Hotel closed back in December.

Ramona Jiminez of Lock Haven remembers when the historic building was open.

"I hope this will be a wake-up call, and someone will see the value in rebuilding this structure," Jimenez said.

Both the fire chief and Lock Haven police are asking for anyone with information about the fire to come forward.