Employee charged with setting fire in Silver Spring warehouse

Carlisle/West Shore
Adrian S. Vest Jr._1534439571308.jpg.jpg

A Harrisburg man is accused of setting a fire at a Cumberland County warehouse where he was employed.

Adrian S. Vest Jr., 33, was charged last week with felony counts of arson and causing or risking a catastrophe regarding the March 13 fire at the DHL Supply warehouse, at 101 Commerce Drive in Silver Spring Township.

He also faces a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment.

Police said 34 employees were in the building when the fire was started in the center of an aisle that contained desk chairs and metal filing cabinets, but Vest was the only worker in the area and the only person who could have started the fire.

Furthermore, Vest wasn’t supposed to be in the aisle where the fire was set. Three co-workers reported he was operating a forklift that lifts from the bottom, and the aisle is for clamp-style forklifts only, police wrote in the criminal complaint.

Vest claimed he was sent to the aisle by scanning a barcode, but his scanner log showed his last assignment was to Aisle T, not Aisle HH where the fire started, and he was seen traveling to the area without any product, the complaint states.

Vest also told police he is a volunteer firefighter for the Edgemont and Mechanicsburg fire departments, but the investigation found he had been removed from both departments in 2017. 

A co-worker who believed Vest was a firefighter told police she was surprised to see him running from the building yelling “fire” and making no attempt to extinguish the flames. Another employee said Vest appeared to be excited about the fire trucks arriving, while other workers were alarmed or surprised.

The fire cleanup disrupted work at the warehouse for several hours, and damage exceeded $65,000 in product loss and cleanup, police said.

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