UNIVERSITY PARK – University police and firefighters from Alpha Fire Co. responded to an early morning fire (Nov. 9) on campus that caused about $5,000 worth of damage and is now being called a case of arson. Police are currently seeking witnesses.
No one was hurt in the minor blaze that appears to have started with some type of accelerant around 5:35 a.m. in a small area at Redifer Commons near Louie’s convenience store off McKean Street. Police say the fire, which was extinguished within minutes by a sprinkler activated in the area, appears to have been caused by a person(s) throwing an accelerant on an automated teller machine located in a small tiled lobby area and setting fire to it. The ATM belongs to PNC Bank. Most of the damage that was incurred is water damage from the sprinkler system. Water reportedly flowed into public areas within Redifer dining, Louie’s store and several storage rooms beneath the lobby.
Police are looking for witnesses who observed anyone in the general area with an accelerant or anyone who may have had an accelerant stolen. Witnesses also should contact police if they may have come into contact with individual(s) who smelled of smoke or an accelerant.
Anyone with information should contact University Police immediately with any useful information at (814) 863-1111 or Centre County Crime Stoppers at 1-877-99-CRIME. People providing information that leads to an arrest may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.
Callers may remain anonymous or can visit the Penn State University Police Silent Witness Web Site at: http://www.police.psu.edu/witness/.