Arson is Ruled Out in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Fire

WILKES-BARRE City fire officials have ruled out arson as the cause of a North Main Street fire that destroyed a double-block home last year.

The building at 242-244 N. Main St. was recently razed, but Assistant Chief William Sharksnas said the arson finding was made previously, but after, investigators learned no accelerants were found at the scene.

The cause of the fire, though, will be listed as undetermined, Sharksnas said.

Flames gutted the home Sept. 23.

Sharksnas said the flames started around 6:20 a.m. in wicker furniture on the buildings front porch. Firefighters encountered heavy flames at the building, and the fire quickly tore through the three-story structure. No residents were injured.

Flames also damaged part of 246 N. Main St., leaving nine college students without a home at the time.

Investigators probed the cause of the blaze, which included having material recovered from the scene tested to determine whether accelerants were used to fuel the flames.

Sharksnas said the results of that test were negative, ruling out arson.

Maybe somebody threw a cigarette out there, Sharksnas said.

He said the case is closed, and the cause of the fire will remain undetermined.

Distributed by the Associated Press