City Arson Spree

Seven fires, five locations, one hour. A West Hazleton man faces some serious charges after going on an arson spree around the City of Hazleton Monday morning. Police say 49-year-old Lawrence Ustenofski purposely set multiple fires throughout the City and is facing arson charges. The first fire started in a vending machine right outside of the Hazleton General Hospital’s main entrance sometime after 7am. News 13 learned that Ustenofski was actually taken to the hospital around 3am Monday morning for unknown reasons. The Hazleton City Fire Department was called all around the City Monday morning, putting out fire after fire. Their first stop was at KFC along Broad Street. Firefighters then made their way to the hospital. Immediately after, they were led to Locust and Mine Streets in the City where the Grand Central Plaza sign was engulfed in flames. From there, several firefighters made their way to the area behind Yannuzzi Incorporated where a tarp had been set on fire.  Other firefighters, including Chief Donald Leshko, responded to a tire fire in the Save A Lot parking lot at the same time. Chief Leshko tells News 13, that is where Ustenofski was caught by Hazleton City Police and West Hazleton Police. The Hazleton City Fire Dept. continues to work with the Hazleton City Police Department and the PA State Police Fire Marshall to determine Ustenofski’s motive.

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