Arson arrest has Sharon residents breathing easier

SHARON, Pa. (WYTV) – Arson has been a problem for over a year in Sharon but with an arrest Wednesday night, there’s now hope those cases can be solved.

Joyce Jordan is relieved someone was caught and charged with arson. John Burns was arrested in Farrell and is now jailed.

“I’m pretty relieved right now. Yes, I feel more safe right now than I did before,” she said.

That’s a comforting feeling. There have been 19 fires in Sharon this year and fear had been gripping neighborhoods.

“You hear a fire truck and you don’t know where that house is at, between your house and the next house. That could be really frightening,” Johnnie Stevenson said. “I thank God that they really got this guy off the street, and he needs to be where he’s at and I hope the fire stops.”

Just before 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, police got a tip about someone trying to set a rug on fire up against a door of the Community Counseling building — which has surveillance cameras — on State Street.

“The video is very, very clear. It’s very good video. It’s very easy to pick out Mr. Burns as the person in the video,” Det. Mark Hynes said.

Thursday morning, police searched Burns’ home and found a hat similar to one in the surveillance video.

Burns has been charged with attempted arson and risking catastrophe but his arrest is limited to just the one case.

“Right now, I don’t have any links to any other possible fires other than he’s been charged with arson and there are some other suspicious fires under investigation in Sharon,” Hynes said.

The search to find whoever started them will continue.

Still, neighborhoods are breathing easier even though they know some work still needs to be done for the problem to stop completely.

“If somebody else is out there and somebody knows about it, I wish they’d let somebody know,” Jordan said. “Don’t be afraid to speak up.”

Burns is being held on $100,000 bond. He goes to court in two weeks.