An Olney man was charged with arson and related offenses in the Sept. 15 Gayborhood fire that caused the evacuation of two apartment buildings and destroyed a restaurant construction site, Philadelphia police said Sept. 30.
Stephen Pettiway, 53, was arrested for the three-alarm blaze that broke out in the former Letto Deli, 208 S. 13th St. The site is under construction to become a French restaurant, Maison 208. Damage was estimated at $1 million, according to the Philadelphia Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Some residents of the Gramercy and Chancellor apartment buildings, both in the 200 block of South 13th Street, were told they could not return to their apartments because of broken or melted windows, residents said.
It took about 100 firefighters to control the blaze that broke out about 4:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.
ATF officials have not yet commented on a motive. The ATF led the investigation, with help from the Philadelphia Police Department and Philadelphia Fire Department.
Pettiway had been arrested several times in recent years, including for such charges as aggravated and simple assault, making terroristic threats, trespass, disorderly conduct,
He pleaded guilty earlier this year to resisting arrest and was sentenced to two years probation.