Arson Arrest

South Heidelberg Township Police Department

PRESS RELEASE (For Immediate Release)

Date/Time of Incident:

28 June, 2020 / 1740 hours

Date/Time Issued:      

28 July, 2020

Prepared by:  

Chief Leon J. Grim

Contact Information:

610 670-9885

Arson Arrest

The South Heidelberg Township Police have charged a 15-year-old resident of the Child First Services facility, located at 448 Preston Road, South Heidelberg Township, with Arson and related charges for a fire that occurred at the residential facility on June 28th of this year. 

On Sunday afternoon, the 28th of June, 2020, at 5:50 P.M. the South Heidelberg Township Police Department and the Western Berks Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at the Child First facility.  Upon the arrival, the Fire Department found smoke in the structure and confirmed a working fire in the structure.  The Western Berks Fire Department requested additional assistance for fire suppression and conducted an aggressive interior attack, containing the fire to a single residential room in the building. 

A combined investigation was conducted by the South Heidelberg Township Police Department, The Western Berks Fire Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshall, into the origin of the fire, and determined that the fire had been set in a mattress inside the residential room.

As a result of that investigation, a 15-year-old male Juvenile resident of the facility has been charged with:

Arson endangering persons – Felony 1

Arson endangering property – Felony 2

Recklessly Endangering Another Person (Misdemeanor 2) 4 counts

Criminal Mischief (Misdemeanor 2)

During the investigation, it was learned that the Juvenile has also been charged for an Arson that occurred in the City of Philadelphia in 2019, where he was charged as an adult.

During the fire suppression effort, the Western Berks Fire Department was assisted by the Mohnton, Robesonia, Reinholds, Spring Township, and Wyomissing Fire Departments.

The Child First Services facility has remained closed since the fire and has had its license to operate removed by the Pennsylvania State Department of Human Services, and its occupancy permit has been revoked by the Township.