The Town That Won't Stop Burning
May 27, 2009 12:49 PM Subscribe
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.
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Less than 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) in size, Coatesville
is the only city in Chester County
. As of a news article from March 9th
, federal authorities say 67 fires have been set since February 2008 in Coatesville and the surrounding area. What has arson experts most horrified, and intrigued
: the sheer number of suspects, most with apparently no connection to one another; the long stretch of time over which the crimes have occurred; the mysterious lack of a pattern.
A state of emergency was declared
by the city manager in January of this year, and residents were told to remove items that could be used to start a fire from the outside of their homes
or face possible fines. A curfew was in place in early February
, prohibiting people under the age of 18 to be on the streets after 8pm.
More details on the 2008-2009 arsons in Coatesville, Pennsylvania
wikipedia page, and extra coverage
on The Daily Beast article, as reported by The Straightener