5th Fire Near Conneaut Lake Park- Not Arson - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

5th Fire Near Conneaut Lake Park- Not Arson

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You can imagine what was on the minds of the people who live near Conneaut Lake Park on Wednesday night as firefighters responded to a summer home on Woodland Avenue.

Four suspicious fires have been set in their neighborhood during the past three weeks, all at night, all within a quarter mile of the park. Even the deputy fire chief believed this would be suspicious fire number five.

"Obviously right now, not only the fire departments in this area, but the people in the community are on a high alert of what's going on. We'd be lying of we didn't say, when we initially went out, that wasn't on our minds," said Deputy Chief Jim Steele, Conneaut Lake Park VFD.

The cause of the fire turned out to be an electrical problem, not the work of an arsonist. The fire was unfortunate, but not deliberate.

"But at least we know for sure, cut and dry, that the fire here was electrical, was an accidental fire, and there's nothing suspicious about it," Steele said.

Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the suspicious fires, and neighbors continue to worry. They're afraid their home may be next.

John Bertera purchased a new smoke detector for his house on Thursday morning.  Since the string of fires, he and his neighbors are even more serious about protecting their homes and families.

"Everybody's been real cautious," Bertera said.  "Everybody is watching out for everybody else. The mood here is very strenuous right now because of all the fires that are going on. We're very concerned about it. This is an old park and things light up very quickly."

Residents near the park are now patrolling the area themselves, keeping their eyes peeled for anything suspicious.

"We've seen a few new cars that have been coming through here quite frequently. We took license numbers down. We've given them to the police," Bertera said.

Visitors come to Conneaut Lake Park to have fun.  However, the people who live near the park say they will be on edge until the suspicious string of fires comes to an end.

 

 

 

 

 

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