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Johnstown Arson Concerns

First, it was a duplex home along Dibert Street in February.

Weeks later, it was at a vacant building along Railroad Street.

Then, it was a dumpster fire along Oak Street.

These were the locations of three fires within the City of Johnstown ruled arsons by officials.

The string of arsons happened within about a month of each other.

“If we start seeing a pattern to how the fires are started, we start looking for one individual, because they’ll consistently do the same type of set.”

That’s what Johnstown Fire Chief Robert Statler told us, as we sat down with him for a closer look at the scary situation.

“Fires are always hazardous. The big issue with arson fires, is because they’re set a lot of times in vacant buildings, or the way they’re set causes different damage. There could be holes in the floors that would cause issues with us entering buildings. It could cause injuries,”

Police say detectives arrested and charged a 14-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl, and an 11-year-old boy.

All three juveniles face felony charges of arson and risking catastrophe, according to law enforcement officials.

Cambria County District Attorney Greg Neugebauer told us in a statement, “Given the ages of the minors, this matter will be handled in Juvenile Court. Under applicable law, the DA’s office cannot comment further.”

Statler says they work with law enforcement officials every step of the way for arson cases.


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