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.READ MORE: Wilbin De-La-Rosa Arrested For Deadly Hit-And-Run In Kensington, Police Say
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.READ MORE: Justin Bieber, Lil Baby, Megan Thee Stallion To Headline Philadelphia's Made In America Festival
“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.MORE NEWS: Frankie Lane Wanted For Allegedly Stabbing, Killing Girlfriend Inside Hard Rock Hotel Room In Atlantic City
The arsons that plagued Coatesville caused three million dollars in damage, left dozens homeless and resulted in one death.