Wilkes-Barre home fire ruled arson; same residence damaged in September blaze

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected] | December 6th, 2017 5:04 pm - updated: 11:14 pm.

WILKES-BARRE — A home that was damaged in a September fire was the scene of another blaze in the city’s Heights neighborhood Wednesday afternoon — at least the third house fire in that area since August.

And all of them were intentionally set, according to the city’s fire chief, who vowed authorities would work hard to get the bottom of what’s happening.

“I’m not happy with what I see happening on that street,” said Chief Jay Delaney. “There are very, very good people who live on that street.”

Firefighters were called to 37 S. Fulton St. about 4:40 p.m.

The same residence was one of three damaged in a blaze Sept. 2 that broke out at 39 S. Fulton St. Authorities said the first fire was intentionally set, and Delaney said an active investigation into that case is ongoing.

Crews were wrapping up at Wednesday’s blaze by 6:45 p.m., and the chief was confident at that point it was another arson.

He said the detective division of the city’s police department would be investigating.

Delaney also said structural issues caused by the previous blaze made going into the home treacherous for firefighters.

“It makes it very dangerous,” Delaney said, although no one was injured during the incident.

Neighbors said 37, 39 and 41 South Fulton have all been vacant since the September blaze.

A third major fire in the Heights neighborhood broke out in a building on South Sherman Street in August. Authorities also ruled that fire an arson.

The city’s Neighborhood Impact Team visited the area after the September fire, and neighbors said there had been several more fires in the area in recent months. They said most of those were put out by residents themselves.

“There’s no doubt there’s a pattern,” said Delaney. “But I want our residents to know we’re aggressive and we’re going to try our best to correct what’s been happening in that neighborhood.”

Wilkes-Barre firemen extinguish a blaze Wednesday afternoon at 37 S. Fulton St. Officials quickly determined it was a case of arson. There has been a string of intentionally set blazes over the last several months in the same neighborhood, including at a house next door to the one that burned Wednesday.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_WBBlazeMain.cmyk_.jpgWilkes-Barre firemen extinguish a blaze Wednesday afternoon at 37 S. Fulton St. Officials quickly determined it was a case of arson. There has been a string of intentionally set blazes over the last several months in the same neighborhood, including at a house next door to the one that burned Wednesday. Sean McKeag | Times Leader
A Wilkes-Barre fireman holds a ladder during a fire on South Fulton Street on Wednesday. 12/6/17. Sean McKeag | Times Leader
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_TTL120716WBFire2-3.jpgA Wilkes-Barre fireman holds a ladder during a fire on South Fulton Street on Wednesday. 12/6/17. Sean McKeag | Times LeaderSean McKeag | Times Leader
Wilkes-Barre firemen extinguish a blaze Wednesday afternoon at 37 S. Fulton St. Officials quickly determined it was a case of arson. There has been a string of intentionally set blazes over the last several months in the same neighborhood, including at a house next door to the one that burned Wednesday.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_TTL120716WBFire1-3.jpgWilkes-Barre firemen extinguish a blaze Wednesday afternoon at 37 S. Fulton St. Officials quickly determined it was a case of arson. There has been a string of intentionally set blazes over the last several months in the same neighborhood, including at a house next door to the one that burned Wednesday. Sean McKeag | Times Leader

By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan


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