Pottstown: 2 Fires Displace 3 Families

POTTSTOWN — Sunday was far from a day of rest for area firefighters after two fires broke out, gutting two homes and damaging another.

The first fire occurred around 7 a.m. in a twin home building in Union Alley at the 300 block of Evans Street.

According to Pottstown Fire Chief Richard Lengel, the fire was sparked by someone cooking on a stove. He said the building was a loss.

No one was injured but 16 people were displaced by the blaze.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130303/NEWS01/130309854/pottstown-2-fires-displace-at-least-3-families-19-people#full_story

Chesco D.A.: Norco Murder Scene Was ‘Doorway Into Hell’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST CHESTER — Two weeks after the grisly discovery of a body inside a burning North Coventry apartment, authorities announced an arrest in the murder of 17-year-old Kevin Allen.

Shakeem Carter, 20, of Norristown, was arraigned Wednesday morning after an investigation concluded he was responsible for the brutal stabbing death of the Norristown High School student inside his father’s home at the Hanover Garden Apartments, officials said.

Allen’s body was discovered on Feb. 12 after a neighbor dialed 911 to report a “terrible struggle,” according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, who announced Carter’s arrest at a Wednesday morning new conference.

Officers from the North Coventry Police Department were the first to enter the apartment, but they had to retreat when they discovered the apartment was on fire.  Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames, but when they returned, they told police there was a body inside.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130228/NEWS01/130229413/chesco-d-a–norco-murder-scene-was-doorway-into-hell-(video)?nstrack=sid:387506|met:300|cat:0|order:2#full_story\

North Coventry Homicide: Chester County D.A. Says Investigators ‘Going All Out’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORTH COVENTRY — The Chester County Detectives and the North Coventry Police continued Friday investigating the murder of Kevin Allen, 17, of Norristown.

“The investigation is going all out,” Thomas P. Hogan, Chester Country district attorney, said Friday.

An autopsy on Allen’s body was preformed Wednesday night, but the cause of death is not being released, Hogan said.

Allen was found dead at his father’s burning apartment on Tuesday Feb.12, at Hanover Garden Apartments in the 200 block of East Schuylkill Road after a neighbor called the fire department.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130216/NEWS01/130219570/north-coventry-homicide-chester-county-d-a-says-investigators-going-all-out-#full_story

York Street Fire In Pottstown Forces 26 From Their Apartments

POTTSTOWN — Twenty-six people were forced from their homes after a fire at the Yorkshire Apartments left their building uninhabitable Saturday night.

Shortly after 7 p.m., the Pottstown Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at the apartments on the 500 block of North York Street.

Pottstown Fire Chief Richard Lengel said the fire was in the wall of a second floor apartment.

“It was an electrical problem in the wall,” he said.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121001/NEWS01/120939979/york-street-fire-in-pottstown-forces-26-from-their-apartments&pager=full_story

Damage Set At $3 Million In Blaze At Morgan Corp.

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fire authorities estimated on Friday that the blaze at Morgan Corp. in Caernarvon Township caused $3 million in damage.

Trooper Michael J. Yeity, a state police fire marshal, said an electrical or mechanical malfunction caused Thursday’s blaze in a company paint shop. The fire was ruled accidental.

Morgan Corp., 111 Morgan Way, manufactures the box, or container section, of delivery trucks for Penske, Ryder and other corporate trucking fleets.

Yeity said employees were in the paint shop and discovered smoke venting from the top of a paint booth about 3:45 p.m.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=412582

Fire Rips Through Morgan Corp. Building

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An intense fire swept through an industrial building in Caernarvon Township late Thursday afternoon, spewing a cloud of heavy black smoke and leaving the facility a tangle of twisted metal.

Fire broke out shortly before 4 in a paint shop at Morgan Corp., which manufactures the box, or container, section of delivery trucks for Penske, Ryder and other corporate trucking fleets.

Brian McCafferty, the company’s risk management director, said the cause had not been determined.

No one was injured, he said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=412401

Arson Suspected In Pottstown House Fire

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — A fire call at a home in the 900 block of Spruce Street Sunday night is being investigated as arson.

According to Fire Chief Richard Lengel, a call came in for 967 Spruce St. around 9:06 p.m. Sunday, and when firefighters arrived, they found several fires set throughout the property.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120827/NEWS01/120829459/arson-suspected-in-pottstown-house-fire

Transit Bus Bursts Into Flames As It Enters Tamaqua; No One Hurt

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Schuylkill County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Here’s something you don’t see every day!

A Schuylkill County public transit bus burst into flames Friday afternoon as it entered Tamaqua to pick up passengers, authorities said.

No one was injured. The Schuylkill Transportation System bus was empty except for the driver, and he jumped out at Broad and Swatara streets before the flames spread.

he 2:05 p.m. fire gutted the bus down to its seat frames. It was a charred shell after South Ward firefighters put out the flames.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/police/mc-f-tamaqua-transit-bus-gutted-in-fire-20120805,0,7069613.story

French Creek State Park Brush Fire Contained

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A huge brush fire that began Monday in southeastern Berks County and forced the evacuation of homes near French Creek State Park has been contained but is still burning, emergency officials said today.

About 450 acres burned and no structures were affected by the fire, according to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Firefighters will continue to look for hot spots throughout the day.

A DCNR spokesperson said helicopters and airplanes are being used to help douse the flames, and that it will take a couple of days to confirm that the fire is out.

Firefighters from several Berks and northern Chester County companies battled wind-whipped flames well into Monday night. The fire was first reported about noon near Route 345 and Hopewell Street in Union Township, just south of Birdsboro.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=378727

Brush Fire Rages At French Creek State Park

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Firefighters from several Berks and northern Chester County companies battled wind-whipped flames well into the night. The fire was first reported about noon near Route 345 and Hopewell Street in Union Township, just south of Birdsboro.

Exhausted crews had to leave to get some rest knowing that it will take at least one more day to put out all of the flames, which have spread into North Coventry Township in Chester, a county communications center supervisor said.

Residents were evacuated from homes in the area. The American Red Cross, Berks County Chapter, and the Berks County Department of Emergency Services set up a shelter at the Immaculate Conception Church social hall in Union Township. Food and beverages were available at the shelter, and the Berks sheriff’s department was providing security.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=378727

Huge Union Township Brush Fire Moves Into Chester County

Wind-whipped flames from a huge brush fire in Union Township – estimated by fire officials at more than 100 acres – have turned and moved into Chester County.

Fire crews have begun moving equipment from a staging area in Union Township to St. Peters Road in Chester County. However, six fire engines remained near the International Fireworks Manufacturing Co. on Sycamore Road in Union Township as a precaution.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=378727

Reading Woman Charged With Arson At High-Rise Apartment Building

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Image via Wikipedia

Reading, Pa.,  – Police have charged a 43-year-old woman with starting a fire in her residence in a high-rise apartment building earlier this week, investigators said Thursday.

Tayna Wright told told Lt. Jeremy Searfoss, an investigator with the city fire marshal’s office, that she started the fire Monday about 11 am. in her third-floor Kennedy Towers apartment by intentionally placing a plastic toy on the stove and burning it, police said.

Fire personnel told police who responded to the fire that Wright told them she started the fire because “God had told her to do it,” according to Criminal Investigator Michael P. Perkins.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=369885

Before Fire, 15 Lived In Reading Home With No Water, Toilets

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

Image via Wikipedia

The city has placarded as unfit for human habitation a fire-damaged row home in the 800 block of Greenwich Street.

The placarding is for damage from the Monday morning fire, but city codes manager Ron Natale said Thursday the home must remain vacated until numerous issues are resolved.

The home, filled with trash and mattresses, was an illegal rental, with no working toilets, no water service and no kitchen facilities, Natale and other city officials said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=362692

Huge Fire In West Pottsgrove Township

Fire companies from as far away as Reading are descending on Universal Concrete (formerly Doehler Jarvis) in Stowe where an industrial fire is refusing to cooperate with firefighters.  Access to water is a huge problem!  The fire is at a plastic recycling facility that occupies one of the building on the Universal Concrete site.  Workers have been evacuated while fireman try to get the blaze under control!

Schuylkill County Borough Plagued With Arson

Minersville Borough, Schuylkill County, has had 9 fires since April 24, 2010.  The latest fires occurred one week ago.  The arsonist struck once, the fire was extinguished.  Two hours later, another home was set on fire a block away.

Residents are deeply concerned and even fearful.  They are being encouraged to keep lights on and their eyes open.  A crimewatch is hopefully being started and police are stepping up overnight patrols.  A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers, toll-free, at 1-877-TIPS4SC. Individuals with information can also contact Minersville police directly at 570-544-6212. All information received will remain confidential.

Fire Damaged Building On High Street Being Rebuilt!!

It is very exciting that the hole in the 200 block of High Street is disappearing.  Almost two years ago a huge fire damaged Lastic Furniture and several other adjacent businesses.  This created an unsightly gap in the middle of downtown Pottstown.

At first it appeared as though the rebuilding had begun.  Then it stalled for what seemed like an eternity.  I was afraid it was another economic casualty but lo and behold the phoenix rises!  A nice new building is filling this space in our downtown. 

I cannot stress enough the importance of not allowing the downtown to resemble Beiruit!  Kudos to the owners for honoring their commitment to rebuild in downtown Pottstown! 

Further down High Street another burned out building is runder construction as well.  Great signs of progress for Pottstown.  People are still willing to invest here.  As long as that is the case, don’t count us out!