Spate of Arsons Strikes Pennsylvania City

January 5, 2009

A southeastern Pennsylvania city is facing a series of fires that police say were deliberately set.

State Police Fire Marshal John Clifford says during a seven-hour period that began at 9:35 p.m. New Year’s Day, there were three arsons in Coatesville and one in nearby Valley Township.

More than a dozen fires were set in the Coatesville area in 2008. Police identified three arson suspects last month, including one who is charged in a Dec. 7 fire that killed 83-year-old Irene Kempest. She had been imprisoned in a German work camp during World War II.

Coatesville has a population of about 11,000 and is about 35 miles west of Philadelphia.

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