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Second suspicious fire in two days concerns residents

| Monday, Aug. 13, 2001

KITTANNING - Residents in the 1300 block of North Water Street are concerned that an arsonist may be loose after the second fire in two days in their neighborhood.

The two blazes occurred about 30 yards apart behind a home and a metal pole building used for storage by the Mariner Restaurant in a weeded area along the Rails to Trails path.

'Obviously somebody is setting something off,' said Carrie Visnesky, owner of the Mariner whose business is across the street from both fires.

On Thursday morning, firefighters from Kittanning Hose Cos. 1, 4 and 6 saved a tool shed and workshop owned by Macey Bowser.

'I hope someone's not on the loose,' said Bowser. 'I'm half afraid to go to sleep now. It's getting to be scarey.'

The neighborhood was at one time the scene of a string of fires set by an arsonist.

'We had a rash of this here one other time,' said an unidentified fireman.

For a second time, firefighters from the three Kittanning hose companies responded to the same scene. Armstrong 911 called companies out at about 11:20 p.m. Friday.

Neighbors say they could not see flames but could hear burning. Firemen had the fire out quickly, they said.

According to Kittanning Hose Co. 4 1st Chief Steve Mechling, the fire was small.

'It was garbage and debris in the weeds along the building,' said Mechling.

Mechling could not say if the fire was deliberately set. He said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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