York fire ruled arson, 1 arrested - abc27 WHTM

York fire ruled arson, 1 arrested

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Keith Allen Hetrick Jr. (2012 photo) Keith Allen Hetrick Jr. (2012 photo)
YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

A York man was arrested on arson and burglary charges after he set a fire that damaged several homes in the city early Thursday, police said.

Keith Allen Hetrick Jr., 27, was taken into custody in the area of the fire at Philadelphia Street and Belvidere Avenue.

Police said they were sent to the area at around 12:40 a.m. for a report of a burglary in progress and found Hetrick, who was smelling of gasoline, police said.

Moments later, smoke and flames started coming from a vacant building at 701 W. Philadelphia Street and Hetrick was taken into custody.

Police said they are still looking for a second suspect.

The three-alarm blaze damaged several homes in the 700 block of W. Philadelphia Street and the 100 block of N. Belvidere Avenue.

Firefighters evacuated the neighborhood because an auto repair shop was among the buildings engulfed in flames and they feared a possible explosion.

"Four York City police officers were banging on doors, trying to get people away, and hot ash was just falling on their heads," Sandra Stephen said. "They were choking on the smoke and they had to keep running back to breathe and were going back to the houses."

No injuries were reported.

The American Red Cross said it is assisting 10 adults and a child with their immediate needs.


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