By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG (CBS) — Governor Corbett is expected to sign legislation prompted by a string of devastating arson fires in Coatesville several years ago.

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The bill on the governor’s desk creates the crime of “aggravated arson.”

Erik Arneson is a spokesman for Chester Republican Dominic Pileggi, the Senate majority leader.

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“The genesis for this legislation were the tragic arsons that happened in Coatesville several years ago. And the goal is to increase the penalties for this kind of arson – aggravated arson – when there’s a very real possibility that someone could get injured or even die,” Arneson says.

The bill creates tougher penalties for arson if a person sets a fire, or aids or pays someone in starting a fire, with the intent to injure someone, or if the person knows someone is inside a property at the time.

There are also tougher penalties if a first responder is injured.

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The arsons that plagued Coatesville caused three million dollars in damage, left dozens homeless and resulted in one death.