Coatesville: Latest Fire Ruled Arson

Investigators are not ready to say it's connected to 29 other fires purposely set

Tuesday night’s fire in Coatesville was purposely set, according to John Hageman with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). 

BUT investigators did not know on Wednesday if it's related to the string of arsons they believe have been set by the same person or persons.

The arson total is now 30. Fifteen fires this year and fifteen last.

Tuesday’s fire was set in a trash can along the 500-block of Coates Street just after 5pm.

People in the neighborhood heard an explosion. Some thought at first it was a car or truck backfiring.

An 11th grader who lives in the home where the trash can burned, said Coatesville outsiders can’t possibly understand how a fire so close can leave someone so badly shaken. Neighbor Roxy Washington agreed. “I fear for my family. I fear for other people’s lives," she said.

Roxy’s grandsons were also upset about the latest fire. They say they’re scared to live in Coatesville and they echo the town's mantra of the week: I’m scared to go to sleep.

The mayor has ordered people in Coatesville to remove cardboard, cushions and chairs outside their homes that could catch fire.

That has to be done by Thursday morning or residents face fines.

The mayor and city council held a meeting Wednesday night to address concerns and give an update on the investigation. Over 500 residents packed into the town hall, offering opinions and suggestions.

Officials told the crowd they have several leads and are continuing to progress with the investigation.

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