Jean DeNardo woke to the sound of rain beating on her window early Tuesday morning. Those soothing sounds soon changed to fear as a "popping noise" literally ignited her backyard shed.
"I looked out the window and there was this orange glow," said DeNardo, of Moonflower Road in Horsham. "It went up like a matchbox."
The fire in DeNardo's shed, which backs up to Meetinghouse Road, began at about 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, less than 10 minutes after Horsham Township Police and the Horsham Fire Company responded to a "suspicious" 2:51 a.m. fire outside a home in the area of Meetinghouse and County Line roads.
No one was injured in either of the fires, according to Horsham Township Fire Marshal George Fida. Both blazes are under investigation, he said. Fida said authorities do not yet have a suspect for the pair of apparent arsons Tuesday.
Fida deferred to police regarding whether the most recent fires are related to the handful of arsons committed at or near school property over the summer, including a shed fire at Montessori Children's House which .
Horsham Police Lt. Jon Clark told Patch that the police do not have any "solid suspects" at this point for Tuesday's fires. As far as a connection between Tuesday's and the ones over the summer, Clark said, "the pattern sure looks similar."
In addition to the fires, police said numerous acts of vandalism occurred along Meetinghouse Road from County Line Road to the neighborhoods behind Keith Valley Middle School at 227 Meetinghouse Road. Clark said the previous arsons did not have the criminal mischief component.
"I would've much preferred to have my trash dumped then my shed set on fire," said DeNardo, who has lived in her home for 12 years. "Whatever happened to mischief night? This is not innocent pranks. This is really potentially devastating stuff."
DeNardo said her a large section of her high privacy fence had been blown down during Hurricane Sandy, which she believes gave the alleged culprit "easy access" from Meetinghouse Road to her shed. Inside her shed, DeNardo said the "usual shed stuff," including her family's lawnmower, beach chairs, umbrellas and gardening and power tools were stored.
"All of this stuff is stuff and is replaceable," she said. "The worst part of it is to feel frightened in your own home."
By stepping onto residential properties and setting fires which could potentially spread to homes, DeNardo said the person or persons responsible for this morning's arsons are "getting more brazen."
"I don't understand what kind of crazy people think this is fun," DeNardo said. "I really hope the police find them before they kill someone with their next fire."
Clark echoed DeNardo's sentiments and asked any neighbors who may have been returning home, or who might have seen something suspicious around the time of the fires to call the police department.
"We really want to get this guy," Clark said, adding that he does not know how many people are involved in the purported arsons. "There's a huge risk of injuring somebody."
Horsham Police are urging anyone with information on either of Tuesday's fires to contact the Horsham Police Detective Division 215-643-8284.