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NEW CASTLE, PA. Fire marshal blames arson for blazes



Published: Wed, April 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A state police fire marshal said arson was the cause of fires that destroyed one vacant house and seriously damaged a second on Croton Avenue overnight.

Trooper Robert Ryhal said the fires at 703 and 707 Croton Ave. were intentionally set but he declined to reveal how or where they were started.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. A department spokesman said one of the houses was already fully engulfed in flames, with fire visible at the windows and eaves. At one point, flames were shooting 75 feet into the air, he said.

The fire in the second house, located across a vacant lot from the first structure, was just beginning to burn on the second floor when firefighters arrived and they were able to knock it down quickly.

One of the houses had been previously condemned, but the department spokesman didn't know which one.

The fire chief and a crew were still on the scene at 8:30 a.m. today, and details of the fires were sketchy. There were no injuries.




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