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Man allegedly burns home so he can build another

  • LARRY NEFF/Special to the TIMES NEWS This is all that remains of a house owned by Towamensing man who allegedly burned it to the ground Saturday.
    LARRY NEFF/Special to the TIMES NEWS This is all that remains of a house owned by Towamensing man who allegedly burned it to the ground Saturday.
Published August 15. 2011 05:02PM

Firefighters are furious and neighbors outraged after a Towamensing Township man allegedly burned his home to the ground Saturday at 100 Norman Lane to make way for a new home.

The scenario began earlier this week when the home owner met with township fire officials requesting a controlled burn, asking that the department allow him to burn down his home.

The fire chief denied the request, citing a ton of paperwork as well as environmental issues and nearby adjoining structures.

But at noon Saturday, the Carbon County communications center received reports of a dwelling fire. Firefighters from Towamensing and Franklin townships in Carbon County as well as Polk Township in Monroe county responded to the scene. Firefighters spotted the plume of heavy black smoke from miles away. When firemen arrived on scene, they were informed by the home owner he had been burning portions of the home at the time and the controlled burn got out of control, burning the entire dwelling.

Whether the home owner, whose name has not been released, will be charged was not clear. Efforts to reach fire chief Wayne Knirnschild were unsuccessful early Monday, and state police at the Lehighton barracks have not released any information.

Knirnschild has said a state police fire marshal would be talking with the home owner this week.

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