This fire in Coatesville, Pa. left several dozen people homeless. At least 30 arsons have been reported in the area since the start of 2008.
From The Daily Beast:
The small, unassuming town of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, has suffered 50 fires in 15 months, making it the site of the country’s worst arson epidemic in decades, and providing a frightening case study in how the crime of fire-setting can turn self-perpetuating. The Daily Beast reports from a city under siege. PLUS, watch original video of Coatesville’s residents talking about living in a town terrorized by arsonists.
On a barren stretch of Stode Avenue, across the street from the boarded-up house where an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor died in a December arson, the conversation is about the fires.
“See, they ain’t got nobody gang-related,” a young man who calls himself Blue says of the arsonists terrorizing this town. Blue is 23, wears an oversize hoodie, has his hair in tight cornrows, and a hard look in his eyes. “They only pick on old people.” Three black girls are sitting with him on the porch of a two-story house listening to music, laughing. Most people don’t spend much time on porches in Coatesville these days. Officials have asked residents to remove their porch furniture, trash cans-anything that could be easily set aflame.