Fallon Hotel fires suspicious; is an arsonist on the loose?

Police seek public's help

Tim Hardy, the driver for Hand-in-Hand Hose Company of Lock Haven, stands next to a stretcher - along with a firefighter - in front of the Fallon Hotel in downtown Lock Haven on Sunday night in anticipation firefighters or police might find someone inside the vacant, historic building after being called to suspicious fires there.

LOCK HAVEN – “Somebody’s setting fires.”

That was the remark of Lock Haven Fire Chief Bob Neff as he talked to The Express about four fires that erupted in a one-block area near the Fallon Hotel in downtown Lock Haven within about four hours on Sunday.

He said all are believed to be arson and an investigation is underway by City Police and State Police Fire Marshal Cpl. Nick Loffredo.

Two of the fires were on the back stairs leading into the vacant Fallon Hotel; one was in an old abandoned pick-up truck parked behind the Fallon and the other was in a dumpster in an alley just a block away, Neff said.

Firefighters from Lock Haven responded to the first fire at about 4:35 p.m. Sunday.

They found the abandoned pick-up truck had been set on fire.

It has been parked behind the hotel for a couple of years, Neff said.

As volunteers were dousing the truck fire, “We discovered the fire along the steps outside the Fallon Hotel in the back of the building. We put it out fairly quickly. It caused light damaged to the building,” the chief said.

“At about 9 p.m., we were called back to the same scene and found another fire had been set on the same steps as the previous one. There was more damage this time… not significant structural damage, but damage to the siding,” Neff said. A caller discovered that fire and alerted the Clinton County Communications Center, he said.

While there, firemen were called to a Dumpster fire in the alley between Jay and Grove streets … about a block away.

Police are asking the public for help in finding the arsonist.

Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 570-893-5911.

See Tuesday’s print addition for more information as police continue to investigate.