Saturday, September 5, 2015

Man arrested in South Phila. arson

Police have arrested a man in connection with a fire they say he intentionally set at a South Philadelphia rowhouse.

Christopher Smith, 46, was arrested on the 1700 block of Sigel Street Friday morning shortly after he was seen pushing a window-unit air conditioner back into a house, squirting "a liquid from a small container" through the open window and lighting a fire.

Then, police said, Smith left the scene in a black Chrysler 300 double-parked on the street - only to return minutes later with a larger bottle of liquid, which, police said, he again sprayed inside the house, accelerating the flames.

Three people inside the house were forced to jump from a second-floor rear window to safety. A 59-year-old man suffered a broken leg and several broken ribs in the jump, police said. A 47-year-old woman and a 3-year-old boy were also treated at Hahnemann Hospital.

Police did not specify a motive in the incident.

- Aubrey Whelan

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