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Old 06-22-2009, 05:41 PM   #1
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Default My old Pittsburgh neighborhood is burning to the ground


PITTSBURGH -- Police are searching for a serial arsonist who's burned six homes in Pittsburgh's Sheraden neighborhood, and they said a vehicle was seen leaving the area of the latest torch job.

Authorities are investigating another arson in Pittsburgh's Sheraden neighborhood after a fire in a garage at a home on Eliska Street.
A garage fire damaged two cars and spread to a home behind it in the 3300 block of Eliska Street early Monday morning, Pittsburgh police Cmdr. Scott Schubert said.
Slideshow: Pictures From The Scene
"Look at my door. It's still open. Look at that This is absolutely crazy," said Todd Banks, who lives in the damaged home.
Banks came home from work around 8 a.m. to find his garage destroyed and home damaged, the victim of the fifth arson in Sheraden in the last two-and-a-half weeks.
"It started in the back of the garage. It looks like they set ordinary combustibles on fire back there," said Pittsburgh police Detective Mike Burns, of the city's arson squad.
"It looks nothing the same. My goodness," Banks told Channel 4 Action News' Ari Hait as he surveyed the damage.
A witness reported seeing a dark-colored, older-model Jeep Grand Cherokee circle the block twice without lights, park and then take off at a high rate of speed, Schubert said. Within 10 to 20 minutes, people were heard outside yelling there was a fire.
Banks' 16-year-old daughter was the only one home when the fire began around 1 a.m. A neighbor pounded on the door to wake her up.
"She called me and said the garage is on fire and it's coming over to the house. And she just made it out of here," Banks said.
Not long after firefighters responded to the blaze on Eliska Street, they learned of another fire a few blocks away on the dead-end section of Canopolis Street at about 7:20 a.m.
This fire, which police said was also deliberately set, was contained in a garbage can next to a garage. But investigators said if the can had been closer to the fence, a nearby house could have been destroyed.
"I have four kids so I am concerned. And I keep close watch on them. So, hopefully they'll figure out who's doing all this. It's a shame," said another arson victim, Sharon Dusch.
Police said they're still investigating the fires and they're appealing to the community for tips at 412-323-7800.
"That's what we're hoping, someone is going to come forward and give us some information, help us out. Right now we're running down a couple leads and still got some things we're looking at. But if anybody with information could please call us, that would be greatly appreciated," said Burns.
A community meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Sheraden Senior Center to give residents a chance to meet with public safety officials to try to develop a plan to deal with the arsons.
Neighbors are also hoping to meet with Mayor Luke Ravenstahl sometime this week to discuss the situation.

i grew up right next to these houses....it never was a good neighborhood, but i hate to see innocent peoples homes being destroyed
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: My old Pittsburgh neighborhood is burning to the ground

Wow, hopefully the Pittsburgh Police kick the arsonists rear end into the Allegheny River Iron Bar Hotel. No reason for someone's house to get burned.

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