N. Philly street hit with series of fires

NORTH PHILADELPHIA - August 18, 2009 Two of them happened just this morning on the 2300 block of North College Avenue.

Neighbors are saying what happened overnight and then again this morning was the latest in a series of fires they've had in the area.

Up until now skeptical neighbors say they've been told the origin of all those fires were unrelated accidents. However, Action News was told by the Fire Department this morning that they will take a second look at these fires using both the Fire Marshal's Office and the Arson Task Force.

One resident told Action News, "It's three houses that got on fire so far on this block and it don't make no sense."

One of the latest fires was one at an unoccupied house in the 2300 block of N. College Avenue, where worried neighbors say this was not an isolated incident, but one in a series of fires this summer.

For neighbors the first in the series of fires was in the 2200 block last June. Then in July there was a fire at 2303. A resident tells us, "We came out and then we saw the black smoke coming out the third floor windows. Everyone called the fire department. They came, broke out the windows, took care of it."

Then came the fire at 2325 on August 12th. "Same scenario - black smoke coming out. We all ran out, we ran down here and we were like, wait a minute. Nobody lives here."

Officially the fires along North College Avenue appear unconnected. But neighbors believe the fires are being set, with the arsonist getting in through an overgrown back alley in the back of the houses. The block captain says homeowners are trying to get the attention of the city to get some help.

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