Symbol of Phoenixville Firebird Festival set ablaze in arson

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Officials say someone torched the large wooden structure of a Phoenix ahead of the Phoenixville Firebird Festival.

Officials say someone torched the large wooden structure of a Phoenix ahead of the Phoenixville Firebird Festival.

It happened around 3:30 Saturday morning at Fillmore Street and Franklin Avenue.

It's strange to say there's an arson investigation for something that was going to be eventually and intentionally set on fire, but that's the case.

Organizers say neither rain nor vandals will stop them from rebuilding and retorching their mythical bird structure.

The clock is ticking at Phoenixville's Firebird Festival.

Volunteers have been hard at work rebuilding the 30 foot tall, wooden structure of a bird that's due to be lit at 8:00 tonight.

This was the 2012 festival in Friendship Field at Filmore and Franklin and this was this year's structure -4 months of craftsmanship, 2 thousand dollars and tons of wood.

But in a strange, bizarre and criminal twist, someone beat them to the torch.

Phoenixville Police say vandals intentionally set the bird on fire.

Organizer, Henrik Stubbe Teglbjaerg, "Of course I was shocked when i heard that the bird was burned, but that's the whole thing of it all that we don't want to hold on so all of a sudden i had to not hold on."

Word spread quickly about the arson on social media sparking donations of wood and manpower.

Ralph Cockerham of Phoenixville, Pa. said, "I got a call this morning before 7 o clock saying the bird was burning. i was devastated but you know what we came together."

Meanwhile this 11th annual music and arts festival in celebration of the borough's namesake...the Phoenix...is in full swing.

Dozens of performers, businesses and those who attend this community event yearly are determined not to let the bad actions of others dampen their spirits.

"It's the Firebird Festival. It's all about the phoenix rising from the ashes. Ii think the community rose up and met the challenge too," said Stacey Bailey of Exton, Pa.

As the festival continues, so does the arson investigation, but as you heard organizers and so many others say Saturday, they're not holding a grudge. They've seem to let it go.
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