Shamokin, Northumberland County - Amid three large fires within the last week, Shamokin police arrested a man Tuesday afternoon in connection with one of the fires.
James Neidlinger Jr. was charged with arson, risking a catastrophe and related counts.
Investigators say he set fire to a three-story apartment building late Monday night that quickly spread.
Nearly a dozen people turned out at a magistrate's office to watch the 21-year-old be brought out of the judge's office.
"Everybody is afraid to sleep. It's unbelievable," Avis Bowers of Shamokin said.
The 21-year-old was charged for setting fire to a building in the 600-block of East Sunbury street late Monday night.
No one was hurt but firefighters had to battle weather in addition to the flames.
"Our firefighters were out. My husband was out until quarter-after-four in the morning. We have a 12-year-old. This is not what I want my 12-year-old to see," Jamie MacKenzie of Shamokin said.
Investigators say Neidlinger told them he wanted to be a volunteer firefighter.
Court papers say he told police he set the fire with branches and leaves because he was having a fight with his girlfriend and needed to get rid of anger and stress.
"If you want to do firefighting, join one of our stations. We're happy to take anybody," MacKenzie said.
At an afternoon press conference, Shamokin police credited two alert police officers who saw a footprint at the back of the building that burned Monday night.
They took pictures of it and were able to match it to the boots that Neidlinger was wearing.
Investigators say Neidlinger initially told police he saw someone else running from the building but later changed his story.
People who live in town are happy someone is facing charges.
"I didn't know what the heck was going on, like you really have to tread lightly to even go to sleep at night. It's terrible," Vicky Pappas of Shamokin said.
"There were so many (fires) and so quickly that it was getting kind of frightening and they seemed to be surrounding us where we lived," Robert Kubeck of Shamokin said.
Two other fires from earlier this week are still under investigation.
Police say it would be "premature" to caall Neidlinger a suspect in those fires because more interviews need to be conducted.
Neidlinger is locked-up tonight on $200,000 bail in Northumberland County.