The attorney for the Coatesville firefighter accused of starting two house fires said authorities had intentionally placed his client in a prison cell with another accused arsonist to get his client to confess to crimes he did not commit.
The defense's alibi for a suspended firefighter accused of starting two fires in Coatesville is that he left his five children home alone while he went to buy cocaine in the city.
Back in August, a volunteer firefighter was charged in connection with a string of fires just outside this distressed former steel town — in what turned out to be a false cause for hope that the worst was over.
More than 15 years ago, national public safety experts noticed a problem.
Just days after police arrested a city firefighter for allegedly setting houses on fire, city officials are facing criticism for Coatesville's employee hiring process.
The fire company where an accused arsonist volunteered for 21 years is working to rebuild a trusting relationship with the community.
A paid city firefighter, the son of an arson victim, was charged Monday with intentionally setting two houses on fire.
Two intentionally set fires in the city Friday night are the 28th and 29th arsons in the Coatesville area this year.
Investigators in Coatesville determined that the fires were arsons.
The arson that occurred on East Valley Road has sent a new wave of fear through the many city residents who had hoped that, with the arrests of two suspected arsonists last month, the area's crisis was over.
A fire that severely damaged two adjacent houses on the 200 block of East Valley Road was intentionally set, according to law enforcement officials.
Roger Leon Barlow Jr., the teenager authorities contend is responsible for nine of the arsons that have plagued Coatesville over the past several months, confessed not once but twice to setting the blazes, an investigator said Friday at his preliminary hearing.
A man accused of intentionally setting a house on fire here waived his preliminary hearing; meanwhile, the governor is seeking federal assistance for arson victims.
A local business is donating $5,000 to Coatesville area fire departments to purchase smoke detectors and batteries for area residents and businesses.
A federal prosecutor on Friday said circumstantial evidence and statements from witnesses and friends all point to Mark Gilliam being responsible for setting a small fire at a Thorndale restaurant in January.
Retired Coatesville Area school teacher Bobbie Spaid never thought the day would come when she would be sewing.
Despite an intentionally set fire damaging seven school buses in a middle school parking lot early Sunday morning, officials said bus operations within the Coatesville Area School District remained on schedule Monday.
City Council on Monday approved a $200,000 withdrawal from the city's trust fund, a two-week extension of the city's state of emergency and the filing of a grant application that will bring $500,000 in arson-related aid from the state.
A fire that damaged seven buses at North Brandywine Middle School early Sunday morning has been declared an arson by the the Chester County Arson Task Force.
He was described by one neighbor as "a young man who would do anything for you."
The second suspect arrested this week in connection with a string of arsons plaguing the Coatesville area was a friend of the Downingtown teen who allegedly set nine of the 23 fires, including a blaze that destroyed 15 homes.
Police charged two men Thursday in connection to a string of arsons that has plagued the Coatesville area since the start of the year.
Residents in the 200 block of West Pennsylvania Avenue said they were shocked to find out that an alleged arsonist lived nearby.
Local, county, state and federal authorities announced the arrest of an alleged arsonist Thursday evening, but stressed the investigation is not over and additional arrests are possible.
As local, county, state and federal authorities seek an arrest related to 23 fires set in Coatesville and its surrounding communities, the area is experiencing its longest arson-free stretch this year.
Coatesville-born basketball star Rip Hamilton's Rip City Foundation held an event at the Coatesville Area Senior High School cafeteria Saturday morning to comfort arson victims.
City Council is slated to hold a public meeting Wednesday to discuss whether the city should dip into its trust fund to cover public safety expenses during the ongoing arson crisis.
During a Jan. 29 Dollar Day fundraiser, Coatesville Area School District collected the funds for area families who have lost homes to the unsolved arsons.
Police Chief William Matthews recently told City Council members privately he intends to resign once arsons are no longer plaguing the city.
U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey viewed the arson destruction here Monday afternoon and offered assistance to city officials.
Council intends to meet in a closed-door emergency meeting to discuss plans to tap $900,000 from the city’s trust fund to pay for overtime generated by police and firefighters battling arsons.
An intentionally set fire destroyed a mobile home on the outskirts of Coatesville about 11:40 p.m. Friday, leaving a family homeless.
The arson that destroyed 15 homes on the 300 block of Coatesville's Fleetwood Street two weeks ago may not have spread so quickly had it been set 70 years earlier.
For any police department in the county, the arson crisis happening here would be overwhelming, but the intentionally set fires afflicting this small, urban community is just where the city’s problems begin.
City residents under age 18 must now be off the streets by 8 p.m.
Despite support from the district attorney and many concerned residents, Police Chief William Matthews does not see the need to implement a citywide curfew in light of a year-long series of arsons plaguing the city and surrounding area.
The crowd in the Scott Middle School auditorium on Wednesday night seemed sparse.
Gov. Ed Rendell announced new financial assistance Wednesday to help the City of Coatesville, which has experienced a series of arsons that has strained local resources and frightened local residents.
Officials have determined the 21st fire under investigation this year for the Coatesville area to be an arson.
Up to $20,000 offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Coatesville area’s recent string of arsons.
An ongoing arson crisis has Coateville area residents scrambling to protect themselves, their neighbors and their properties.
Federal authorities announced Saturday that four Chester County homes were intentionally set on fire early Saturday morning.
Rick Bowman, a victim of the Jan. 24 fire that destroyed 15 row homes on Fleetwood Street, returned home Tuesday afternoon to try to find the family cat.
Triggered by the ongoing arson crisis happening roughly seven miles west in Coatesville, teens reportedly went into imitation mode and began setting cars on fire in Downingtown early Wednesday morning.
More than 400 people showed up to the special meeting the city held at Gordon Elementary School on Wednesday night to address the arson crisis.
They’re coming in from New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia.
City officials say they are gratified by the generous outpouring of donations for victims of the Fleetwood Street fire, but would like to put on hold additional clothing donations until the needs of the victims are better understood.
City officials will hold a community meeting tonight to address the arson crisis.
Only days after a multi-alarm fire destroyed nearly an entire block of city homes, authorities are investigating another suspicious fire.
City officials are warning all residents they have less than 24 hours to remove all upholstered furniture, pillows, cushions, trash and other debris from their porches and place them on the curb for pickup — or they will be fined.
While more than 170 people crammed into City Hall, officials sprang into action Monday night, approving a flurry of measures aimed at thwarting a rash of arsons.
Emotions were running high Monday night outside City Council chambers, with more than 70 people crammed into a lobby during council's meeting.
Representatives from local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies said Monday afternoon they are doing everything possible to stop what seems like a never-ending string of city arsons and to prosecute anyone eventually held responsible.
City officials declared a state of emergency Sunday morning after an intentionally set fire destroyed 15 city homes late Saturday night into Sunday morning, leaving dozens of people homeless, including a city official.
More than 100 anxious and angered residents flooded City Hall Sunday afternoon demanding information.
Due to what authorities believe was a despicable criminal act 15 city homes were destroyed late Saturday night into Sunday morning and dozens of people are now homeless, including a city official.
The string of arsons that has plagued the city of Coatesville has received a significant amount of attention from the media, including this newspaper. But that hasn't done anything to end the fires ...
It's a rescue many wish didn't have to be made in the first place. It starts out with women trapped inside their home. The porch is on fire. There's no other exit.
Thirteen fires in 23 days. Add that to 15 fires from 2008 and the result is this: The city is facing a life-threatening criminal pattern at an unprecedented scale with an end not yet in sight.
Three more arsons early Saturday morning displaced a total of nine people and injured two fire personnel.
A string of arsons that began troubling the city in 2008 and now extends into a new year is elevating fear and frustration among city officials.
Local fire crews and investigators responded to two suspicious fires within minutes of each other early Monday morning.
Residents crowd special meeting
Coatesville fire chief speaksWhat do you think about the devastating series of arsons in Coatesville and the city's response? Consider this your place to make your opinions known.
Images from the fire that destroyed 15 houses on Fleetwood Street on late Saturday, Jan. 24 into the early morning of Sunday, Jan 25.