Western Pennsylvania Town Tackles Arson Rampage on Vacant Homes

May 28, 2009

A western Pennsylvania town is trying to find an arsonist who has set at least 35 vacant structures on fire in the past 18 months.

New Castle Fire Chief Thomas Maciarello says 90 percent of the fires have been in the same part of town. All have targeted vacant structures. Fire officials believe arson is to blame for another 10 fires though they have not been able to make a final determination.

Maciarello says the fires are all set with either diesel or gasoline. He says police have failed to pinpoint anyone though several suspects have been questioned.

New Castle is a town of about 24,400 people some 55 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Maciarello says often several fires are set simultaneously, stretching the department’s resources thin.

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