Cheltenham, PA – Arson fire at apartment building suppressed by sprinkler system

Residents of one of the rebuilt buildings at the apartments at 1600 Church Road were evacuated May 31 after a fire alarm went off at 2:46 a.m., Cheltenham police reported. The fire was believed to be arson, police said.

Several people reported smelling an odor of gasoline and there was an odor of gasoline in a stairwell in the first floor of the B building, where the fire was located, said Cheltenham Fire Marshal Joe O’Neill, who confirmed “the fire was set” and is under investigation. “The sprinkler system put out the fire almost immediately,” he said.

There was fire damage to the stairwell and smoke, soot and water damage to carpet in that area, O’Neill said. The building had previously been destroyed in a fire in October 2012.

Glenside Fire Company assisted by Edge Hill and LaMott fire companies responded to the scene to “make sure the hazard was addressed” and clear the smoke and odor of gasoline from the building, O’Neill said.

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