Maytown man started multiple fires outside Lancaster home and walked away from cops twice: Police | Local news

A man from Maytown started several fires outside a Lancaster town house, then fled police twice when they tried to stop him, Lancaster Town Police said.

Alvin Frank Chambers, 31, started the two fires outside the same residence in the 500 block of Poplar Street on the mornings of January 4 and 5, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The two fires caused around $ 900 in damage to the home and put several people at risk of being killed each time, including three children, police said.

The first fire was discovered in the yard of the house and began to spread outside the residence at 6:42 a.m. on January 4, according to the affidavit. Three children, aged 12, 10 and 5, were inside the building at the time, waking up with their mother smelling smoke and discovering a large fire in their backyard.

Police and firefighters determined that the fire had been deliberately started outside the house, smelling gasoline in the air and finding a burnt paper bag, several pieces of cardboard and a half-eaten burrito among the remains of the fire.

Residents woke up to the smell of smoke again the next morning at around 4:38 a.m., this time finding a fire on a second-story balcony with flames licking the doorway.

One of the residents spotted Chambers sitting in a red Honda CRV in the 200 block of New Dorwart Street watching the blaze. The resident was able to identify Chambers because they had previously connected with him on an online dating site, having ended their relationship with him several months earlier.

Police then spotted Chambers near Laurel and Lafayette streets, but he accelerated when they tried to stop him, passing at least one red light in the process, police said.

East Lampeter Township Police then spotted Chambers several minutes later in the 2200 block of Route 30, where he again pulled away from the police and crossed another red light. Officers pursued Chambers as he continued to pass other vehicles while heading east on the westbound lane of Route 30, but ended the chase due to his erratic driving.

Investigators later determined that the second fire was also intentionally started, finding a quilt and sheet wrapped around several propane cylinders outside the building.

Surveillance footage in the area showed Chambers lighting the flames and watching the fires burn before walking away.

Chambers was charged on Friday with two counts of arson, both felony, as well as 11 counts of recklessly endangering another person, two counts of criminal mischief, two counts of loitering and prowling at night and two counts of fleeing or attempting to escape from an officer.

A lawyer was not listed for the chambers in court documents.

Chambers had not been arrested Tuesday afternoon, according to court records.

Anyone with information on Chambers’ whereabouts is urged to call Lancaster Town Police at 717-735-3301 and ask for Detective Toby Hickey.

Chambers was also charged with theft by illegal take after he stole $ 240 from the master ledger of an East Donegal Township business around 6:30 p.m. on December 29, according to a probable cause affidavit. Chambers, a store worker, was seen in surveillance footage withdrawing money from the cash register and putting it in his pants after calling a customer, then exiting the store “so as not to be. seen or heard by his employer since. “

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for this offense on February 8 before Judge Scott Albert. Chambers had not been arrested for the offense Tuesday afternoon, according to court records.

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