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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Arrests Made for Four Bradford Arsons

Police say a Bradford man has confessed to setting two fires on December 17 and is charged in connection to two more fires last month.

21-year-old Harvey Rose, who is also facing charges after his two-week-old baby was burned by bath water earlier this month, told police he started fires at 8 Thompson Avenue and 10 Congress Place, according to papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office.

Rose is also accused of setting a fire at 125 West Washington Street on January 8 because he was upset with a resident he says owed him money and wanted to scare her. Surveillance video from Oxley’s Service Center captured Rose riding a bicycle to and from the scene.

He is also charged in connection to a fire at an apartment building at 338 East Main Street on January 11. 25-year-old Jeremiah Smith of Bradford is also charged in connection to that fire. Smith and Rose each told police that the other man started the fire.

Surveillance video from the nearby Kwik Fill gas station shows the men walking to and from the fire scene. As they fire trucks passed by, they both stopped to watch.

During his confession Rose told Assistant Chief Mike Ward and State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti that “he was fascinated by fire. He liked to watch it burn and liked the colors.” He also told them he got uncontrollable urges to start fires and that he does not hold any regard for the safety of others outside of his family.

Rose, who is also facing drug and theft charges in separate cases, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on this case on February 27. He was already in jail on a total of $105,000 bail.

Smith’s preliminary hearing is also scheduled for February 27. He’s jailed on a quarter of a million dollars bail.

An arson investigation team was established to investigate the fires. It consisted of city police, state police and the McKean County District Attorney's Office. Additional assistance and cooperation was provided by the Bradford City Fire Department, Agosti says.

All investigations are continuing. Anyone with information on these or any other fires is asked to contact the city police department or the state police fire marshal unit.

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