Coatesville: Too Scared to Sleep

People are sleeping with one eye opened and suitcases packed.

On Monday, Coatesville was under a state of emergency. The feds were called in and people were, in one woman's words, "talking about taking up arms.

There've been 14 arsons this year and 15 last year. The most recent, this past weekend, spread to 15 row homes.

The City Manager told NBC10's John Blunt that federal and state agents have joined the investigation.

Earl Kouser, Fire Police Officer, said some people are so worried about being the next victim, they're sleeping by the front door.

NBC10's Jamison Uhler said folks were "sleeping with one eye open and suitcases packed."

A roving police supervisor is moving through the streets. Police are asking people who see anything suspicious to call them at this number: 610-636-0514.

At the Coatesville City Council meeting Monday night, hundreds of residents filled the council chambers hoping to learn new information about the arson investigation.

Those hopes seemed to be dashed as the Council President held all discussion on the fires until the end of the meeting since it was not on the meeting agenda, having the Fire Chief deliver a few remarks and answer a couple questions before adjourning.

Residents were angry and frustrated with the abridged update on the investigations.

"I've got a right to speak my mind, but they didn't want to hear it," said arson victim Charles Jordan.

Others, like Trevann Guldan, are simply scared and preparing for the worst.

"Our family stays up all night keeping an eye on's no way to live. We've got a bag packed right next to our window with our fire escape plan; with our important papers ready to go," said Guldan.

The Council announced that they will hold a second meeting to discuss solely the arson investigations on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Gordon Elementary School.

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