New Castle News

July 6, 2013

City crews respond to three suspicious fires

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — New Castle firefighters were kept busy Thursday night responding to three calls within 15 minutes.

The city police department’s fire investigators were called to probe the blazes at three vacant houses on the Lower East Side.

Fire Chief Tom Maciarello called all three “extremely suspicious.”

Firefighters were first called to 405 Duquesne St. at 10:54 p.m. When they arrived, flames were coming from the second floor. The fire was under control in a little more than a half-hour, according to the department.

At 11:05 p.m., the department received a call for a fire at 304 N. Vine St. Firefighters were on that scene for about two hours.

The third fire was reported at 11:09 p.m. at 646 S. Ray St., where flames were coming from the attic.

The fire department said the house had been boarded up. Witnesses told firefighters they had seen kids throwing something through the second-floor window.

Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour and 45 minutes.

Maciarello commended the firefighters, saying, “They made a good stop” on all three blazes. They prevented the fires from spreading to nearby structures, he noted.

He called the fires suspicious because there is no heat source to any of the houses.

Maciarello noted the Vine Street house has been vacant for about 10 years and the Ray Street property was the scene of a fire a couple years ago. Those two houses were destroyed, he said. There was no estimate of damage on the Duquesne Street structure.

The Shenango Township Volunteer Fire Department assisted on the Duquesne Street blaze, he said, and the Union Township Volunteer Fire Department assisted on Vine Street.