Pa. Firefighter, Juvenile Charged in Arsons

Aug. 13--A 19-year-old Delaware County volunteer firefighter allegedly enlisted a juvenile in setting fire to three vacant homes -- then responded with his fire company to put out two of them -- police said.

John P. Corcoran IV, 19, of Glenolden, is charged with arson, reckless burning or exploding, criminal mischief, corruption of minors, reckless endangering another person, and related crimes, according to court records.

Corcoran, who volunteers for Goodwill Fire Company 77 in Darby Township, was remanded to the county jail after failing to post $250,000 bail.

Efforts to reach the fire company were unsuccessful.

A 17-year-old Tinicum male has been charged as a juvenile with the same offenses, police said.

According to court records, on July 20 at 11 p.m., Corcoran and the youth were driving when they decided to set fire to a vacant house on Delmar Drive in Folcroft.

"I won't get caught, I'm Ninja," the Tinicum teen told Corcoran, according to the court documents. The teen then started a fire in the home's bathroom.

Because of the damage, the house was later demolished, said Officer Dan White.

Corcoran told police he drove the teen to two vacant houses in Darby Township on Garfield Avenue -- one on May 31 and the other on June 5 -- which the 17-year-old then set on fire.

Corcoran told police he responded to help fight both those blazes.

White said that Corcoran was not a stranger to the police. As a child, he was interested in the lights and sirens and looked up to the police officers and firefighters. His department took Corcoran under its wing when he was younger, White said.

"We were kind of hurt knowing he was involved in something so stupid," White said.

"He is putting all the lives of the [volunteer] fire department at risk," he said.

mschaefer@phillynews.com

610-313-8111

@MariSchaefer

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