Journal Register News Service
EAST PIKELAND — Fire officials are investigating an arson fire that occurred early Thursday morning at the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Armory on Rapps Dam Road.Lt. Col. Corey Lake, U.S. Army, said that the alarm came in around 4:30 a.m., when firefighters from Phoenixville, Kimberton, Valley Forge, Liberty Fire, Ridge and Lionville responded to the blaze."Bottom line, the fire started around 4:30 a.m., firefighters responded and there were no injuries," Lake said. "No official personnel were here at the armory at the time. The investigation into this fire is still ongoing."
Flames and heavy smoke were visible from the second floor when firefighters arrived. Once firefighters got the blaze under control in about 45 minutes, fire officials began their investigation and remained on the scene throughout the day going through debris.
The investigation has determined that a person or persons broke into the armory building and started the fire while inside, according to state police at Embreeville. Nothing was taken from the building, and all weapons stored inside the armory are accounted for and have been secured, police said.
The fire resulted in "significant structural damage," according to state police. State police and Chester County fire marshals are investigating.
"There were no injuries and there was no danger to the public," said Harrison "Digger" Holt, Chester County fire marshal. "We'll be here all day investigating this."The armory building had extensive rooftop damage, along with visible fire damage to several letters spelling Phoenixville National Guard Armory along the upper front wall of the armory.