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One arrested in connection to York arson

Updated: Thursday, March 20 2014, 10:46 AM CDT
Reported by: Michael Gorsegner
Contributor: Sara Small (Sgsmall@local21news.com)

York City Fire Chief David Michaels says one person is in custody, following an arson on Thursday morning.

The fire broke out around 1 a.m. in a condemned building in the 700 block of West Philadelphia Street.  By
the time firefighters got on the scene, they had fire blowing out of
the roof of the building. The extreme nature of the flames forced the
evacuation of seven row homes, including 10 adults and 1 child.

Eleven people were displaced from seven homes due to the fire. They are being helped by the American Red Cross.

Michaels says the police were investigating a disturbance in the area before the fire started and were on the scene quickly. 

They are continuing to interview other people and more arrests might be possible.

Eighty
firefighters from as far away as Columbia, Lancaster County were called to help put out the fire.

“They
knocked on my door, I came outside and it was all flames. It must have
just started when I came out. It was all engulfed in flames. They put it
out and the floor on the bottom floor was still on fire,” said fire
victim Holly Kiesel.

Over four hours after the start of the fire,
crews were still hitting the building with water. A portion of the
building has collapsed, and put a single family home in danger. That home was behind the building.

Firefighters never entered the abandoned building for fear that it was to unstable and would pose a risk for firefighters.

“Structurally,
we knew it wasn’t real sound. We had it marked that we weren’t going to
put any of our personnel in there,” said Michaels.

Police say Keith Allen Hetrick Jr., was taken into custody near the area of the fire. Hetrick is charged with arson and burglary. He is currently in York County Booking Center awaiting arraignment.

The York City Police Detective Division is actively investigating this incident and is currently attempting to identify a second suspect in the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call the York City Detective Division at 717-849-2219.

One arrested in connection to York arson


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