New curfew in effect for Coatesville

February 6, 2009 8:45:40 PM PST
Starting tonight, young people in arson-plauged Coatesville, Pa. will have to be indoors earlier.The Chester County town, which has been hit by an arson spree that has destroyed dozens of homes, is putting an 8:00 p.m. curfew in place for people under 18 years old.

The former curfew was 10:00 p.m.

Starting Sunday night, anyone violating the curfew will be given a citation.

Many, including members of Coatesville Men United who have organized patrols, applauded the curfew.

"We're in a state of emergency until we get this thing resolved; I think we need to take the necessary steps that we need to take as far as the curfew situation," James Grove, Jr. said.

Already the police say they have become more aggressive in stopping and questioning anyone of any age who is out overnight.

Porches that were once dark are now bathed in lights to deter whoever is starting the fires.

Many say they don't sleep well, while others say they now sleep with a weapon nearby.

The most recent arson hit Coatesville Tuesday night, damaging a home. The next day, Coatesville started a clean-up effort to remove flammable materials from porches.

In late January, a 7-alarm fire, which was ruled an arson, destroyed 15 homes.

The city of Coatesville declared a formal state of emergency, giving it the immediate power to acquire resources it may need as it continues to try to battle this plague of fires that have hit the city.

Reward Fund

A reward fund has been set up to help catch those responsible for the fires. Contributions can be sent to:

Citadel Federal Credit Union
Coatesville Reward Fund
Attn: Office Manager
135 Modena Road
Coatesville, PA 19320

Another fund has been set up to help the people affected by the fires. Donations can be sent to:

Citadel Federal Credit Union
Coatesville Family Fund
Attn: Office Manager
135 Modena Road
Coatesville, PA 19320

Phone Numbers:

Coatesville Police Hotline: (610) 636-0514

Citizen's Crime Commission: 215-546-TIPS

Crimestoppers: 1-800-4-PA-TIPS.

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