Fire marshal investigates string of fires

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Firefighters are going to start patrolling the city's east side after three suspicious weekend fires, said Fire Chief James Donston.
The fires, along with a fourth one last week, occurred within a three to four block radius, Donston said.
Firefighters were called to 309 Pine Street at 12:50 a.m. Sunday. The occupants, Debra Patterson and her four children, were not home when the blaze started on the second floor of the house. The roof and second floor had heavy fire damage and the first floor had smoke and water damage, he said. Damage is estimated at $10,000.
Another house fire was reported at 6:50 a.m. Saturday on Oak Street. Donston said the house was vacant and firefighters are still trying to locate its owner. It was destroyed and damages were estimated at $15,000, he said.
A shed fire at 4 p.m. Sunday on Cleveland Avenue may also be related, Donston said. The shed had about $500 damage and is owned by Fran Paparelli.
All of the fires are considered suspicious and the Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal is investigating, Donston said.
Firefighters are still waiting for a ruling on a June 20 fire at a vacant duplex at 310-3101/2 Pine Street. The house was destroyed by the blaze, Donston said.

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