Scranton man arrested after string of arsons

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — When the Melba Bar and attached rooming house caught fire in January, state police could not determine if the blaze was the result of arson or a carelessly discarded cigarette.

Police say a dodgy interview, however, put a man named Henry Scheitrumpf on their radar. Officers say that while other tenants of the rooming house were worried about being let back into their rooms, Schietrumpf asked police if he was in trouble.

The Melba fire was one of six similar incidents occurring between January 21 and February 17. The final fire, which burned the dumpster and garbage cans near the bar, was conclusively determined by investigators to be intentionally set.

Surveillance footage allegedly showed Sheitrumpf setting two fires at the dumpster. He was subsequently arrested and police say he admitted to setting the January fire, expressing regret for his actions.

Sheitrumpf reportedly told police that setting the fires calmed him down.

He is now facing 21 counts of felony aggravated arson, 23 counts of reckless endangerment and other related charges.

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