Arson suspected in Abington church parking lot fire

ABINGTON TWP., Pa. - May 27, 2013

"I think it's really wicked to destroy those cars because those cars are there to help people," Peaches Walker of Abington Township said.

Pops and explosions brought residents out of their houses on the 400 block of Easton Road in the Glenside area around 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

Firefighters worked to get the scene under control as fire heavily charred a fence and climbed a tree in a backyard, forcing the Alberts and a neighbor to evacuate their homes.

"It was really scary. I expected the tree to fall over. I knew the firemen were here, but it was huge, huge flames," Kelly Alberts said.

Police say after a day of investigating it appears the fires were set in the inside of a Mercury Mountaineer and Volvo station wagon.

Two other vehicles were also damaged.

All are part of a 20 year program at New Life Presbyterian Church.

The donated cars are repaired and used by those in need to go to work and run errands.

"It's a great ministry that our church does and I'm just sad that someone took advantage of that," Joel Alberts said.

Peaches Walker told Action News what she observed Sunday night.

"I saw three young people walking across the parking lot before I heard the pop. I can't say they did it and I can't say they didn't do it," Walker said.

She told the tip to police who are asking others to do the same as they try to find an arsonist.

"That general area, there does tend to be some foot traffic, so anybody who may have been in the area at the time of the fire we're asking to contact the Abington Police Department with any information they may have," Detective Ed Quinn of the Abington Township Police Department said.

New Life Presbyterian Church, meanwhile, is trying to figure out what's next to get that program back up and running again.

In case you saw something and need to contact the Abington Township Police, call 1-877-APD-TIPS.

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