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Another Newark fire called arson; person of interest sought

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Newark arson
Investigators are asking the public to help identify a person of interest in a recent townhouse fire.

A fire two weeks ago at a townhouse being constructed in Newark was arson, the Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal announced today.

Newark arson
Investigators are asking the public to help identify a person of interest in a recent townhouse fire.

The fire was discovered shortly after 3 a.m. Aug. 17 in the townhouse, in the unit block of East Cleveland Avenue.

“The interior of the townhouse was damaged by the deliberate fire,” said Michael G. Chionchio, assistant state fire marshal. Damage was estimated at $5,000. 

This is the second time in two weeks that the office has decided that a Newark fire was arson. Last week, a fire destroyed the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.

Arson is also blamed for a few recent trash fires on Lehigh Road, on Newark’s western side, he said. 

 

When asked if anything connects the fires, Chionchio said, “We’re keeping an open mind.”

Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person of interest captured on video near the townhouse by calling 302-323-5375 or emailing fire.marshal@delaware.gov.

A GoFundMe campaign run by University of Delaware students has raised about $500,000 to rebuild the Chabad Center “even better, grander, and larger with even more space to host even more students, thereby bringing even more light to this world than ever before,” the page says.

East Cleveland Avenue is a popular site for townhouses rented by University of Delaware students.

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