The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

June 4, 2014

Cops nab 2 boys in arson attempt of former school

SUNBURY — City police have apprehended two boys they say ignited books and paper in an attempt to burn down the former Sunbury Middle School on Monday.

The youths, whose names are being withheld by police because of their ages, also vandalized the former school by spray-painting the walls and dousing the building’s interior with fire extinguishers, said acting Chief Brad Hare, who credited Sgt. Chris Blase and officers Gary Heckman and Steve Bennick with the arrests.

“I want to give credit to these officers for their great work,” Hare said. “They did a fantastic job solving this quickly.”

Video surveillance from inside the building helped obtain the identities of the males, Hare said.

The blaze — seen as smoke by passersby — brought out a quick response from the Sunbury Fire Department and rescue personnel, who quickly quelled the flames. Firefighters then spent hours checking the empty structure for burning embers or hot spots.

The first call came around 2:15 p.m., when someone saw smoke emanating from the building, which is no longer in use.

Firefighters used ladders to reach the roof, where smoke had been seen. They also broke through a door to accommodate water hoses inside the building.

The two teens are charged with felony counts of arson, burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and risking a catastrophe. They were turned over to Northumberland County Juvenile Probation.

 

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