Friday, February 20, 2009

Alleged Arsonist Applied to be a Firefighter

Roger Barlow, Jr: Arrested and Charged

COATESVILLE, PA. (February 20, 2009) -- Two young men have been arrested and charged with a string of arsons that have terrorized the citizens of Coatesville, PA in Chester County. 19 year old Roger Barlow was arrested and charged by local authorities, while 20 year old Mark Gilliam was arrested by members of an ATF Task Force.

According to officials, Gilliam of West Bradford, PA had applied for membership with the West Bradford Fire Company as recently as January, according to the fire company. In a press release issued by the fire company on Friday afternoon, fire officials say that Mark Gilliam had applied for membership with their company in January.

However, "in the course of our normal application process, including a background investigation, it was determined that Mr. Gilliam would not be offered a membership with the West Bradford Fire Company." the press release noted.

Fire officials were insistent that Gilliam had not been accepted as a member. "(The company) wishes to reiterate that Mark Gilliam was never a member of the West Bradford Fire Company," the press release said. Thursday evening, Gilliam was charged with the Jan. 25 attempted arson of the Happy Days Family Bistro on East Lincoln Highway in Caln.

Barlow faces far more serious charges including starting a blaze in Coatesville on Jan. 24 fire that ripped through 15 city rowhomes. Barlow, a resident of nearby Downingtown, was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Rita Arnold on Thursday afternoon. Based on the bail agency's recommendation, Arnold set Barlow's bail at a whopping $9 million. In lieu of bail, he was taken to Chester County Prison.

More on this story at Daily Local News.


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