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COATESVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Authorities are urging residents in this Philadelphia suburb to remove flammable materials from their porches and to keep porch lights on at night following a string of suspicious fires.
The latest fire tore through a block of row houses Saturday, damaging 15 homes, leaving several dozen people homeless and prompting city officials to declare a state of emergency.
At least 30 arsons have been reported since the beginning of 2008, about half of them in the last three weeks. Police said the blazes may be part of a gang initiation, but there was no clear information who was committing the crimes or why.
"This is an arson, no question about it," City Manager Harry Walker said Sunday. Coatesville is about 45 miles west of Philadelphia.
The emergency declaration gives the city powers to deal with the situation without worrying about the budget, such as boarding up the buildings, assigning police to protect them and helping the families involved, Walker said.
Originally posted by projectvxn
You may be right. The police say it may be a gang initiation. But gangs jump themselves in. They don't burn houses down, can't vouch for every gang in the nation but I've had my education in the ways of the gang banger..And this just isn't there MO.
With the wave of foreclosures hitting the US, and this being only the beginning, people who are already being foreclosed on have little incentive to commit crimes that would further destroy their lives. And the scope, complexity and size of this arson rules out gang activity.