Casey: Arrest of Jeannette Arsons Suspects Gives Residents Peace of Mind

Senator Pushed DOJ to Provide Federal Resources to Solve Rash of Arsons

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement on the arrest of 6 suspects believed to be involved in the string of arsons that plagued Jeannette:

“I am grateful that the efforts of local and federal law enforcement have paid off and 6 suspects are now behind bars. I urged the DOJ to aid Jeannette’s efforts to bring the perpetrators of these troubling crimes to justice, and I’m pleased that the residents of Jeannette will now have peace of mind knowing that these suspects are off the streets.”    

Senator Casey pushed the Department of Justice to provide manpower and resources to help Jeannette solve the arsons. His letter to the Department of Justice is below:

The Honorable Eric Holder

Attorney General

United States Department of Justice

Dear Mr. Attorney General,

I write to request additional Department of Justice support for the western Pennsylvania city of Jeannette, currently investigating a rash of dangerous arsons.  I have been pleased to learn of the assistance already provided by the  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but I remain concerned that the spate of fires in Jeannette are stretching thin local law enforcement and first responder resources.  Please direct any available Department resources to supplement existing local, state and federal efforts to bring an end to this frightening situation by augmenting the investigation in Jeannette.

According to news reports, since May 2010, more than eighteen fires have been started maliciously in Jeannette, a city with a population under 10,000.  While the majority of attacks have targeted abandoned buildings, an act of arson on March 28, 2012 destroyed an apartment building occupied by four families.  Apparently started around 4:00 AM, eight adults and two children awoke and fled the building to safety.  In another instance, two teenage boys narrowly escaped a fire intentionally set in the basement of a home.  As calls to my office from Jeannette’s residents have made clear, these acts remain a matter of deep concern for the local community.

As local and state police seek the perpetrator of these attacks, I request that the Department identify ways for ATF or other agencies to further support the investigation in Jeannette.  I look forward to building upon the assistance your Department has already provided to pursue a speedy conclusion to this outbreak of arsons in Jeannette.


Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United State Senator


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