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Old City 4-Alarm Fire Ruled Arson; Trenton Man Arrested For Swatting; Shots Fired at Skippack Eatery
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 02/16/19 5:21 am | updated: 02/16/19 5:21 am
Authorities have ruled that a large fire that destroyed several buildings in Old City about a year and shut down the streets for months was set intentionally. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said that the 4-alarm fire on the 200 block of Chestnut Street was arson. It happened on February 18th, 2018. "After a complete analysis of the information obtained through the fire scene examination, collection of information and evidence from the scene as well as witness statements, ATF determined the fire to be incendiary in nature," said the ATF. The building at 239 Chestnut Street was engulfed in flames and eventually had to be torn down. The buildings next to it were also damaged. Other businesses on this historic block were affected by water damage. 160 people were evacuated during the fire and dozens lost their homes. The building was a mix of residential and retail. Chestnut Street between 3rd and 2nd was shut down for months as crews worked to take down the structure and clean up the damage. Many businesses have not yet reopened. The building is directly across the street from The Museum of the American Revolution. The ATF continues to investigate.

A Trenton man has been charged for a making series of fake emergency calls or "swatting" in Florence and Hamilton Township, New Jersey. 22-year-old Treyvon Holt has been arrested and charged with false public alarm. He is accused of making the false calls or "swatting" starting in December 2017 through January 2019. Police say he made two recent calls in Florence and was caught. Police linked then him to 15 more calls in Hamilton Township. Some of the calls were made to Wilson Elementary and West Hamilton High School, causing stress to parents and children. Many fake calls were also directed at the Park Avenue area in Hamilton Township. Police were sent to one house multiple times because of the fake calls. Holt would call police and report fake emergencies like shots fired, children not breathing, smoke conditions, burglaries in progress, and home invasions involving armed robbers. The point of "swatting" is to get a large police response, even the SWAT team, to descend upon the victim. He has a court date on March 20.

Pennsylvania State Police are investigating after shots were fired at a restaurant in Skippack Township, Montgomery County. It happened just after midnight on Friday, 2/15, on the 3900 block of Skippack Pike. Officers responded to Justin’s Carriage House after receiving reports of gunshots being fired. Residents told troopers they heard four or five gunshots. Troopers found damage to the double-paned front window and outdoor awning consistent with a gunshot. An employee inside heard the impact from the shots. There were two employees and two customers inside at the time. No one was injured.

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