Arsonist sought in Doylestown fires

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - November 5, 2009

It began with a string of five fires on October 23rd.

The most recent was on Sunday.

That fire struck at the home of Helen Aldredge. A small blaze lit on top of a stack of papers left some of them burned and the ivy in her backyard scorched. She's now worried about the safety of her neighbors.

"They're elderly. They live and sleep on the second floor. We have people with little babies who couldn't get out. It's a dangerous thing," she said.

The arsonist also tried to torch a garage across from Helen''s home off Garden Alley as well as a law office. The fire there damaged the building's heater.

"The intake and the outtake of the heater melted on the inside and now we have to have the inside pulled out and completely replaced with new PVC piping," said attorney Kevin Hand.

Police say this was clearly intentional.

"There was no way for it to just ignite. Somebody had to set it on fire," said Chief James Donnelly of the Doylestown Police Department.

One of the fires on October 23rd heavily damaged a newly renovated home where the occupants were sleeping. Police say the arsonist is using paper, trash and leaves to start blazes.

"It's very disturbing because it happened right next to us and across the street. And there I have a pile of leaves that worry me very much," said neighbor Billie Shawn.

Officials are asking people to be vigilant.

"Keep an eye out in their neighborhood if they see anything suspicious to contact the police dept. immediately," said Fire Marshal David Cell.

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