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NEW CASTLE Another suspicious fire destroys house in city



Published: Fri, April 26, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Charles Miller lost his Walnut Street residence in an arson fire just a week ago.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Authorities said a suspicious fire destroyed the home of an Erie Street man who had just moved in Thursday.

Charles Miller of 708 Erie St. told authorities he was out walking his dog when a neighbor spotted the fire around 10:50 p.m. Thursday.

Fire Chief James Donston said Miller just moved into the house after losing a house he rented at 123 N. Walnut St. in an arson fire last week.

The Walnut Street blaze was started early last Thursday in a pile of rubble outside the frame house, which was owned by Miller's uncle, Harvey Miller, Donston said. Miller and his wife, Debbie, were home at the time but got out safely. The house was destroyed.

Erie Street fire

Donston said the cause of Thursday's fire on Erie Street is under investigation and appears suspicious. A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal was at the scene examining the rubble most of the night and brought in a dog used to detect flammable liquids, he said.

The two-story frame house, owned by Raymond Archuleta of North Walnut Street, was a total loss, Donston said.

It was the fourth suspicious fire in the city in a week.

In addition to the Walnut Street arson, two vacant houses at 701-703, a duplex, and 707 Croton Avenue were destroyed by arson Tuesday night.

Croton Avenue is only a block away from Walnut Street.

Both of the Croton Avenue houses had been condemned and were to be razed, but they were tied up in a bankruptcy court proceeding that had delayed their destruction, Donston said.




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