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Arson caused Feb. 9 fire in Bethlehem

Published On: Mar 11 2014 05:08:58 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 12 2014 06:05:32 AM EDT

Bethlehem fire ruled arson


 Arson caused the Feb. 9 fire at 68 E. Broad St. in Bethlehem, report city fire officials.

"After a complete investigation in the origin and cause of this fire, and thorough review of all evidence associated with it, the official cause of the fire is being ruled arson, " said Craig Baer, the city's deputy fire chief/fire marshal in a news release Tuesday.

"The owners of the involved property are being considered the victims of this crime and not associated with the fire's cause."


Those owners were not identified in Baer's statement.

In the statement, Baer said the investigation "is active and ongoing" and no further information "will be released at this time."

Several businesses were damaged in the fire, including the Leeson, Leeson & Leeson law offices at 70 E. Broad St.

Atty. William Leeson is the city solicitor in Bethlehem.

Several law offices and an insurance agency operated out of the building.

"Knowing it was at someone's hand, it's hard to feel comfortable about that," said Gail Weiner Shearer, an attorney who practices out of the building.

Shearer said the businesses were forced to relocate.  That coupled with lost files has caused a lot of unnecessary headaches.

"It's very frustrating. Most of my files, have, were been damaged. Most of them are. We're trying to pick up the pieces together and function again, do our jobs, serve our clients," Shearer said.

Firefighters worked hard to stop flames from spreading to neighboring businesses, including Fashion Cleaners, a dry cleaner, but the inside of the business received  water damage.

Baer encouraged anyone with information about the fire to call the fire marshal's office at 610-865-7143.