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Connellsville porch fire ruled arson; truck fire pending

| Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 12:16 a.m.

A residential porch fire was confirmed to be arson and a truck fire was deemed to be undetermined in Connellsville.

New Haven Hose Company Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Topper said on Tuesday that the fire marshal with the state police at Uniontown investigated the two Monday morning blazes.

The first was reported as a porch fire to Fayette County 911 at 6:10 a.m. at a vacant structure at 314 W. Murphy Ave. Connellsville Police responded and found a cardboard box of vinyl siding on fire.

Connellsville police Chief Jim Capitos said officers were able to put out the fire with extinguishers from their police vehicles before it could spread beyond the porch.

Topper said that fire was determined to be arson.

The second call came in about 6:20 a.m. concerning a fully involved vehicle fire at Cummings Avenue and Highland Avenue behind Pizza Hut.

Topper said a Mack truck parked along that street was fully engulfed when firefighters from New Haven Hose arrived on the scene. It took firefighters five to 10 minutes to extinguish the blaze. Connellsville Township VFD was on standby.

The fire marshal told Topper that the truck fire was undetermined in nature.

The Monday morning fires occurred after a confirmed arson on Thursday night at a vacant house at 239 S. Carnegie Ave. in the city. That house sustained significant fire damage.

Capitos said, because of the suspicious nature of the fires, residents should be aware of anyone or anything that seems out of the ordinary and call 911 to report it.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer.

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