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Fire that destroyed Pa. home ruled arson

November 11, 2004|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A fire that destroyed a house Monday morning in Hamilton Township has been ruled an arson, Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Stanford Sydnor said Wednesday.

The fire that destroyed the home of Steven and Claire Renzulli, of 1965 Wood Duck Drive West, was set on the back deck of the home, Sydnor said.

"The burn patterns are consistent with an accelerant being used," Sydnor said Wednesday. He said he took evidence samples at the scene, but had not received tests results as of Wednesday.

The fire was called in at 1:47 a.m. and the couple was awakened by a smoke detector, Sydnor said. It was the second suspicious fire at the home in two years, he said.

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Sydnor estimated the loss at approximately $100,000.

Sydnor said he also was investigating a possible arson Monday night at a garage at the rear of 8644 Anthony Highway, Quincy, Pa. He estimated the damage to the garage and a vehicle inside at $5,000.

The garage belongs to James Alan Erdenback and the fire was reported at 8:13 p.m., according to Sydnor. The fire also spread across an alley and caused about $100 in damage to a carport, he said.

Evidence also was collected at the scene and is being tested to determine if the fire was intentionally set or accidental, Sydnor said.

Also being investigated is a third fire that destroyed a Fayetteville, Pa., mobile home Tuesday morning, Sydnor said. The fire at the home of Barnaby E. Moffat, 30, of 5603 Wright Road, was called in at 1:19 a.m., he said.

While the cause is undetermined, Sydnor said the fire appeared to originate in the ceiling and may have been due to an electrical malfunction. Moffat's daughter awoke in the night and discovered the fire in the living room ceiling, he said.

The Moffat's home did not have smoke detectors, Sydnor said.

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