Two arsons in Shickshinny on Tuesday and a fire in the neighboring Mocanaqua section of Conyngham Township on Monday – a month after another arson occurred next door – have residents on edge and officials advising them to be vigilant.
State police Fire Marshal Ron Jarocha said that a structure fire at 194 Susquehanna Ave. reported at 3:52 a.m. and a vehicle fire in front of 151 Canal St. reported at 5:24 a.m. were both intentionally set.
Jarocha said he is still investigating a fire 3 Main St. in Mocanaqua, which was reported at 1:57 p.m. Monday. He said that fire is suspicious and is still under investigation.
Mocanaqua Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Stephen McDaniels said the fire is suspicious because the house had been flood damaged and there were no utilities connected.
Jarocha said there is no evidence to suggest that the three fires are connected because they were all started in different ways. He would not provide specific details as to not jeopardize the success of his investigation.
Still, McDaniels said a connection can’t be ruled out, either. He noted that a fire on a row home at 4-5-6 Main Street last month was also an arson.
“I would advise residents to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. If they see anything, call 911 and report it to police,” he said.
Shickshinny Assistant Fire Chief Ryan Morris said officials are “beefing up” mutual aid response for the next 24 to 48 hours. He also urged residents to be vigilant.
“We’re urging residents to keep their porch lights on through the night. Believe it or not, it does make a difference” in deterring crime, he said.
Check back later for updates and read the complete story in The Times Leader on Wednesday.