Sharon police: Arson suspect may be connected to several other fires

John Burns was arrested at his Farrell home Wednesday night

John Burns
SHARON: Arrested July 19 - John Burns, 59, charged with attempted arson and causing or risking catastrophe


SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – Sharon police have a man — who they believe is responsible for more than a dozen arsons in the city — in custody.

Police are confident that 59-year-old John Burns has a connection to at least 19 arsons on Sharon’s west side. All of those fires have happened since the beginning of this year.

At this point, he is only charged with one count of attempted arson and one count of causing or risking catastrophe.

Police said on Wednesday, Burns placed a rug at the entrance of a community counseling center group home in the 200 block of State Street and tried to light the rug on fire with a lighter. When it didn’t work, police said he left.

Someone was able to identify Burns and officers arrested him around 8:30 Wednesday night at his Farrell home. Police Chief Gerry Smith said they also had a warrant to search his house.

John Burns
John Burns

Pennsylvania State Police is also involved in the investigation.

Over the past two years, the total number of fires in Sharon is estimated to be near 30.

Burns is due in court for a preliminary hearing at 2:15 p.m. August 2.

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