Latest Fire in Philly-Area Town Destroys 15 Homes

January 26, 2009

A devastating fire in Coatesville overnight has destroyed 15 row homes and may be connected to a string of arsons in the Philadelphia suburb.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has joined the probe. Authorities say there have been as many as 30 arsons in the city in the past 13 months, many in recent weeks.

Coatesville Police Chief William Matthews says the fires may be a gang initiation.

City Council member Robin Scott is among those who lost their home in the fire late Saturday.

Officials are asking residents to keep porch lights on as many fires have been set in a trash can near a back porch.

Firefighters are also offering residents free smoke detectors and batteries.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.