Sharon police: Man responsible for at least 19 arsons arrested

SHARON, Pa. (WYTV) – Sharon police have a man — who they believe is responsible for more than a dozen arsons in the city — in custody.

Police are confident that 59-year-old John Burns has a connection to at least 19 arsons on Sharon’s west side. All of those fires have happened since the beginning of this year.

At this point, he is only charged with one count of arson and one count of causing or risking catastrophe.

Police said on Wednesday, Burns placed a rug at the entrance of a community counseling center group home in the 200 block of State Street and tried to light the rug on fire with a lighter. When it didn’t work, police said he left.

Someone was able to identify Burns and officers arrested him around 8:30 Wednesday night at his Farrell home. Police Chief Gerry Smith said they also had a warrant to search his house.

Pennsylvania State Police is also involved in the investigation.

Over the past two years, the total number of fires in Sharon is estimated to be near 30.