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Arson Fires All Connected At Cherry Lane Estates - Somerset

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Police: Arson fires all connected at Cherry Lane Estates



Somerset- An investigation is underway after a fourth trailer caught fire at Cherry Lane Estates in Somerset borough.

Borough police believe the fires are connected and have ruled them all as arson.

“Whoever it is knows how to get in and get out (of the trailer park) fast,” said Michelle Lewis, a resident.

Somerset borough police said the first fire happened on May 3.

The second was on May 29, two houses down.

A week and a half later, police said a third trailer was intentionally set on June 8, and then another on June 12.

“The fires have all been set in vacant trailers. We do not think that’s a coincidence. The person setting the fires know they are vacant,” said Randy Cox, Somerset borough police chief.

“All of our neighbors are very scared,” said resident Dawn Bush.

Neighbors said they are joining together to make a neighborhood watch team in hopes of catching the person or persons behind it.



“Everyone is walking around in pairs at different time intervals,” said Lewis.

“You just always gotta keep an eye out now,” said Jim Fisher, also a resident.

Police said this is the ninth arson to happen at Cherry Lane Estates since 2011. Only the last four are believed to be connected.

“It started down here and it’s making its way around. I got all these trailers over here in front of me that’s empty. All vacant. What are we supposed to do? How do we protect ourselves?” said Lewis.

Police said unfortunately, there’s still a threat and danger until they’re able to make an arrest.

Anyone with information is urged to come forward.

“The smallest thing you could see that might even seem out of place, could be the piece of information we need to break the case,” said Cox.

Neighbors are asked to be vigilant and report anything they see.

In the meantime, residents are asking the person behind it to stop.

“This is our home. This is what we call home. Please, stop. Please,” said Lewis.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           SEE VIDEO REPORT, TWEET ;    http://wjactv.com/news/local/police-arson-fires-all-connected-at-cherry-lane-estates

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String of arsons continues at Somerset County mobile home park


String of arsons continue Saturday morning at a mobile home park in Somerset (WJAC)

SOMERSET, Pa. (WJAC) – A string of arsons continues at a mobile home park in Somerset County. Fire crews were called to a mobile home in Cherry Lane Estates after 2 a.m. on Saturday.

Somerset Borough Police Chief Randy Cox said the mobile home was vacant at the time and is a total loss.

The fire did rekindle at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Investigators say this is the seventh case of arson at Cherry Lane Estates since May.

The previous two cases happened on Wednesday, June 14th, when two vacant mobile homes caught fire. Somerset Borough police say the first fire happened on May 3rd.

"They've been out here almost every freakin' night,” Marie Bittinger said. “They've got to be getting tired. It's not right."

Somerest Fire Chief Michael D. Livengood says that's exactly what's happening.

“It’s putting a really big strain on the firemen itself, lack of sleep,” Livengood said. “And it almost seems like almost every other night or morning that we’re out here.”

Livengood says he doesn’t want any firefighters to get hurt.

"Any time of the day or night, any accident could happen on us coming down here for nonsense stuff,” Livengood said.

Bittinger says she's scared to go to bed. She lives right across the street from the most recent fire.

"I mean, I have an empty trailer right there beside me,” Bittinger said. “I don't know if that one's going to be next."

She's among about a dozen people who came together for a neighborhood watch meeting Saturday afternoon, fed up and scared for their safety. Police still don’t have anybody in custody.

"Well, that's why we're having the meeting today. Because whatever we're doing, we're doing it wrong," said Kimberly Metheny.

"Even if it's just a suspicious person going across, a shadow, we need called immediately," Somerset Police Officer Justin Evans said.

Tobby Metheny says he saw at least two flashlights overnight.

"It was like they were signaling each other down in the woods,” Tobby Metheny said. “We seen that, but they never actually come out into the park, so we couldn't see who it was."

Jody Whipkey says not everyone is working together and she has her suspicions.

"My thought is it's got to be somebody that knows somebody down here because there's no way they would know when we're inside, when we're outside, you know, what times we're in, what times we're out,” Whipkey said.

"Nobody's wanting to be a team,” said Michelle Lewis. “We've got people hollering and moaning and groaning and complaining, but you ain't out here walking with us. You ain't out here helping us."

Differences aside, one message is clear.

"You are not going to get away with this forever. You will be caught," Whipkey said.                                                                                                                                                       SEE VIDEO REPORT ;      http://wjactv.com/news/local/string-of-arsons-continue-at-somerset-county-mobile-home-park

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