SHARON, Pa. (WYTV) – It has been a busy year for firefighters in Sharon, battling at least one fire a week.
There was a fire started by someone throwing away cigarette butts and an electrical fire.
There are plenty of ashes on New Castle Avenue: three houses there have burned, with the most recent fire starting in the last hours of Saturday night. The neighbors with homes that are still standing are concerned.
“It’s scary, because it’s getting too close for comfort,” Marilyn Hudspeth said. She has lived on New Castle Avenue for 49 years.
Sharon firefighters have responded to 15 fires this year, and nine have required a second alarm call.
Sharon Fire Chief Robert Fiscus credited the firefighters,.
“So I’m really appreciative of them, but as a whole, our equipment, our fire hoses, everything is being taxed heavily this year,” Fiscus said. “This is just one location where there’s been a fire. In fact, still smoldering. I could hit five golf balls in this neighborhood and come up with other locations.”
The Chief said half of those fires have been suspicious, or the origin has yet to be determined.
With nine months left in the year, Chief Fiscus has to wonder if the city’s two trucks and one ladder truck can keep up with the pace of calls.
“As much as I like to be optimistic, this is the trend. When we review the demographics of Sharon and the way we’re made up, the housing stock, I think it’s reality the fires are going to continue to increase,” Fiscus said.
And that concerns Marilyn, as she watches every flame and smells the smoke.
“And it makes you wonder, is it for insurance purposes, or are they trying to get even with them?” Hudspeth said.
The city is concerned, making sure property owners don’t even think about setting a fire on purpose.