ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Sunday's arson fire completely destroyed the double-home located at 45-47 Silver Creek Rd. in New Philadelphia.
Many residents living in New Philadelphia remain on edge as another property, located at 45-47 Silver Creek Rd., was ignited and destroyed by an arsonist late Sunday evening just before 9 p.m.
Five fire companies responded to the fully-engulfed structure. This same home was partially burned by an arsonist about five years ago.
A large wooden tool shed located in the back yard was also set ablaze and leveled by an arsonist a number of weeks ago.
The vacant double-home property was used primarily for storage of tools and off-road vehicles. It was owned by Harry Hosler of Pottsville.
A number of explosions were initially heard by neighbors and firefighters on scene.
This property appears to be the latest of seven suspicious fires set over the past few years on Water Street, Silver Creek Road, and other surrounding homes in New Philadelphia. Less than two weeks ago, an arsonist set fire to a property located at 33-35 Water St. which resulted in six properties being completely destroyed as well as 19 homes damaged.
Hosler stated more than $30,000 worth of tools and other belongings were lost in Sunday evening's fire. Hosler also pointed out he wasn't insured as he only bought the property from a family member a few years ago to fix it up.
A Bronco truck, nine ATVs, cement mixer, snow blower, motorcycles, engines, tools, and a variety of other construction items were destroyed in the fire. Two occupied homes located adjacent to the property also received damage from the blaze. One of the homes, 43 Silver Creek Rd., sustained heavy heat damage to the siding and windows. The neighbors at that home were also the first to notice the fully engulfed structure around 8:45 p.m. and called 911.
Firefighters had to keep dousing the flames as the property kept rekindling a number of times throughout the day. The rekindling fires were eventually put under control by around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon. After the state police fire marshal inspected the home, the homeowner used a backhoe to further level his property in an attempt to safely retrieve some of his belongings.
Many people passing the burned home stressed concern over finding this arsonist before it is too late.
Officials are asking anyone with any information to call the state police. Officials also encourage residents to stay alert and report anything suspicious right away. Currently none of the recent arsons or suspicious fires have seriously hurt or killed anyone. Some residents, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, believe someone is eventually going to be killed or hurt unless the arsonist is found soon.