No arrests in arsons; source of 3rd fire found
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 12:00 AM
No arrests have been made in connection with two arson cases which occurred in November, one of which destroyed a concession stand at Philadelphia High School.
Meanwhile, authorities have determined that a heater on a wall in an empty office used for storage was the cause of a Thanksgiving Day fire which damaged Shear Gossip beauty salon and Mars, Mars and Mars on Center Avenue.
City Fire Investigator Steve Copeland said a report from evidence collected from the Nov. 30 fires at the concession stand and at McKee's Pawn Shop has not been received from the state crime lab.
Arson is suspected in the two fires and a juvenile is wanted for questioning in connection with the school fire.
Evidence from the concession stand at the high school pointed to arson, after a candy sucker was discovered a few feet from the scene, Copeland said.
Authorities believe theft was the possible motive.
At McKee's on east Main Street, a pair of weed eaters and a security screen were damaged by the fire, Copeland said. The building itself sustained no damage.
Robert Winstead, the manager for the shop, said a video of the incident only shows smoke.
"They [the perpetrators] cut through the chain link fence but couldn't get through the cattle panels we have set up," he said. "I guess they got upset and decided to burn it down."
Fire Investigator Steve Copeland said Monday the fire, which damaged Shear Gossip salon and Mars, Mars and Mars on Center Avenue, was started by a heater in a separate office used for storage by the law firm.
"The heater was in the storage room and burned through the wall into the salon. The whole wall burned out," Copeland said.
The fire was reported at 6:48 a.m. and spread from the storage room into the salon but was extinguished before it spread to the rest of the building, the fire report said.
The beauty shop received fire, smoke and water damage while the law office received smoke damage. A shared attic between the two received both fire and smoke damage.