Fire last week in Antis ruled arson

A fire last week at a house in Antis Township has been ruled as an arson by a state police fire marshal.
The home of Amy McElhinney on Lower Riggles Gap Road caught fire Oct. 19. Pinecroft Fire Chief Melvin Pfahler said the call came in at 12:24 p.m. and it took firefighters about 30 to 45 minutes to get the blaze under control.
Chief Pfahler said the fire caused damage to one room and there was smoke and heat damage in another room. A state police fire marshal was called to investigate the fire and a police dog detected chemicals. Fire marshal J.A. Loughran told The Daily Herald that he has determined the fire was arson.
McElhinney and her children were left homeless from the fire and were assisted by the American Red Cross.
The same house caught fire again last Saturday. Chief Pfahler said the fire was reported at 6:58 a.m. and the home was totally destroyed as a result of the second fire. That fire took 60 to 90 minutes to get under control. Pfahler said Loughran was called to the scene while fire crews were still there and another investigation was conducted.
A police dog detected chemicals again. Loughran told The Daily Herald the second fire was “suspicious” in nature. He said there is an active investigation regarding the second fire and no official ruling had been made by his department.