Arson Suspected in 2nd Fire Call to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Home

The first time a residence at 75 N. Empire St. caught fire Tuesday night, the cause was most likely a frayed electrical cord rubbing up against a piece of furniture, according to Assistant Fire Chief Bill Sharksnas.


WILKES-BARRE -- The first time a residence at 75 N. Empire St. caught fire Tuesday night, the cause was most likely a frayed electrical cord rubbing up against a piece of furniture, according to Assistant Fire Chief Bill Sharksnas.

But the place blazed up again about three hours later and Sharksnas says that fire was almost certainly set.

Its still under investigation, but when we checked after the second fire, which started in a different part of the room, there was the smell of accelerant, and a test showed an octane-based accelerant such as gasoline or lighter fluid was present, so it was no accident.

Sharksnas said the insurer of the home, Nationwide, will be sending out an expert today to examine the scene.

The first fire call on the home came in at about 6 p.m. and Sharksnas said a front bedroom suffered a considerable amount of damage from smoke, flame and water.

By 8 p.m., firefighters had cleared the scene, but at 8:46 p.m., a call came in that the residence was again on fire.

At first, firefighters assumed the fire had not been extinguished completely and flared up again. But the assistant chief said, This fire started in a different part of the room, and it was not related to the first fire.

According to Sharksnas, the home is owed by Karie Boston and occupied by Boston, her daughter and Theodore Gould.

Distributed by the Associated Press