Atlas fire is seventh in village since April
ATLAS - Tuesday's blaze that destroyed four buildings in the 100 block of West Saylor Street marked the seventh fire to hit the small village in the last five months. Four of them remain under investigation.
The first was April 26 in the same area as Tuesday's blaze. In April, flames ripped through garages at 100 and 110 W. Girard St. Five days later, on May 1, fire destroyed an unoccupied home at 524 W. Girard St., which left a neighbor temporarily homeless.
The third suspicious fire that week came just a few hours later, on May 2, when three garages were destroyed and a fourth was damaged in the 200 block of West Saylor Street.
A fourth fire occurred May 4 at an apartment building at 101-103 W. Girard St., and was caused by a faulty electrical outlet on the ground floor, authorities said at the time.
A fire on May 15 caused minimal damage to a back porch at 400 Columbia Ave., but authorities ruled it suspicious. They said someone ignited material at the bottom of a wooden support beam.
The last blaze before Tuesday's was June 2 at the home of Ernie Delbo Jr. and Jennifer McGinley at 501 W. Girard St. Authorities said photographs and papers stored too close to a light bulb ignited.
As a result of the fires earlier this year, township supervisors agreed to extra police patrols, particularly during late night and early morning hours, and had township workers board up vacant properties in an effort to keep trespassers and potential arsonists away.
Initially, fire officials thought Tuesday's fire was suspicious; however, they have since learned there was electric power to the building. The cause was ruled as "undetermined."
Mount Carmel Township Police Chief Brian Hollenbush said Tuesday the four suspicious fires remain under investigation.