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Royersford apartment fire ruled arson

By Frank Otto,

Monday, March 25, 2013

ROYERSFORD — A woman is in police custody after she reportedly set a fire in one of the units at the Sherwood Apartments on Main Street Sunday evening.
According to Royersford police, emergency crews were dispatched to a small fire at Apartment 16 at 5:40 p.m.
“Apparently the occupant came back home, he put the key in the door and was met by smoke,” said Chief Gary Wezel of the Royersford Fire Department.
Wezel said the man ran along and warned other residents of the fire and 911 was called.
The first units responding were able to quickly put out the fire, which was located in the kitchen area.
After that, crews were “trying to get rid of smoke, mostly,” Wezel said.
Aiding the Royersford Fire Department at the scene was Liberty Fire Company out of Spring City. Friendship Ambulance also responded.
A PECO crew was also seen at the apartment building shortly after 6 p.m.
Tom Godin, of the Royersford Police, said no one was in the apartment when fire crews arrived and no one was hurt.
Over the course of an investigation, authorities determined that the fire was “intentionally set.”
The woman who police believe started the fire, whose identity was not released Sunday night, was first encountered by police at 6th Avenue and Main Street, near Grace Lutheran Church, Godin said.
A Limerick Police car could be seen with a Royersford car at that intersection, along with an ambulance around 6:10 p.m.
It was undetermined exactly when the woman would be arraigned as of press time Sunday night.
Montgomery County Detectives are involved in the investigation into the incident, Godin said.
The apartment where the fire occurred is located in the rear, western corner. The apartment’s window was busted out, presumably by firefighters attempting to fight the fire.
Royersford Fire Marshal Craig Keffer said there was “minimal” fire damage but most of it was related to smoke. He said two apartments were damaged enough that the occupants were displaced.
Dave Schrader, of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Red Cross, said the organization’s volunteers responded to the displaced occupants but their “services were ultimately not needed.”
Wezel said those who were displaced were able to find other lodging before the fire scene cleared.
Most residents of the apartment complex were allowed to return to their apartments by 6:30 p.m. after standing outside for less than an hour.
Main Street, which was closed between Third and First Avenues, was completely reopened by 6:35 p.m.
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