Northeast Philadelphia man sentenced in Thrifty Irishman Thrift Store fire

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A man has been sentenced to eight to 16 years for his role in a four-alarm fire in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia that left a business destroyed.

Joseph Wolbert, of Northeast Philadelphia, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to an arson charge as part of a negotiated agreement with the District Attorney's Office of Philadelphia.

The April 7 fire left the Thrifty Irishman Thrift store in the 2200 block of East Butler Street in ruins.

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Special team activated to assist in thrift store blaze investigation. Sharrie Williams reports during Action News at 4:30 p.m. on April 9, 2019.



No one was injured in the fire, but it required the response of more than 150 Philadelphia firefighters.

Officials did not disclose Wolbert's potential motive, or if he had any connection to the store. Action News learned he does live in the same neighborhood.

Wolbert was ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution.

The owner of the Thrifty Irishman requested all restitution to be directed toward scholarships for children of fallen and disabled Philadelphia firefighters.

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Chopper 6 was over a multi-alarm warehouse fire in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia on April 7, 2019.

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