Capturing the Newberry arsonist is the city's top public safety priority, according to Mayor Gabriel J. Campana.
According to authorities, the arsonist has set nine fires in the Newberry section of the city since the beginning of April. The most recent came Saturday when a fire was set outside of the home of John Cerquozzi, 2734 Dove St., sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
"We're on top of this serious issue and we're going to get through this," Campana said.
Though no one has been injured by the fires, Campana said the arsons pose a significant danger.
"We are going to use as many possible resources as we can to solve this problem. This is our No. 1 public safety issue right now," he said.
The police department, fire marshal and city codes department are investigating the fires.
"I'm confident that we have the manpower to investigate all leads and go through all the information and tips we've received," Campana said.
Earlier this month, a task force was organized to focus on capturing the arsonist. The task force, Campana said, is comprised of people in the codes, fire and police
departments, as well as "other entities that I don't want to disclose right now because this is still under investigation."
"We're still asking for the general public to keep their eyes and ears open. If they notice any suspicious activity or believe they have credible information, they should not hesitate to call my office, the arson hotline or the fire marshal," he added.
In Pennsylvania, arson is a first-degree felony. Those convicted of arson may receive penalties including fines, probation and jail time.
Campana said his office is working with the District Attorney's Office to ensure that the arsonist, when caught, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.