State College

State College police report two arsons in same section of town

State College police are investigating two arsons late Sunday night in the same area of the borough.

A police news release early Monday said the fires occurred minutes apart in the area of Orchard Park near Blue Course Drive.

At 11:03 p.m., police responded to a report at 712 Windsor Court involving a large wooden shed a few feet from the residence.

“The shed was fully engulfed in flames and was completely destroyed by the fire,” police said.

Alpha Fire Company put out the blaze and the residence was not damaged, police said.

“The home was occupied at the time and no injuries were reported by the homeowner,” police said.

Police said the suspects may have gained access to the shed from a bike path that runs behind the house.

That bike path does not just run behind the house. It also traces through Orchard Park, which has a face on Bayberry Drive. Less than 15 minutes later, a second fire was reported there, threatening the residence, not just an outbuilding.

According to police, at 11:16 p.m. a passing motorist noticed a fire on the front porch at 1037 Bayberry Drive. Police said wooden furniture was set on fire. Maps show the bike path coming almost as close to the back of the Bayberry property as it does to the Windsor home.

“An accelerant was used to start the fire and had also been put on the front siding of the home,” police said.

The driver “alerted the homeowners, who were inside the home and unaware of the fire,” police said. “The fire was able to be extinguished quickly and caused damage to the furniture and front of the residence. No injuries were reported by the homeowner.”

Police ask that anyone with information or who may have witnessed “any suspicious activity” late Sunday night call 234-7150.

Police are also asking residents in the area to check their properties, to be on alert and to report anything suspicious.