Northeast Times office fire likely arson

Evid­ence is point­ing to­ward ar­son as the cause of a Nov. 25 fire that forced the North­east Times to close its main of­fice in Tre­vose, but in­vest­ig­at­ors are still hunt­ing for clues to identi­fy those re­spons­ible for the blaze.

Ben­s­alem Po­lice De­tect­ive Mark Kelly said that the cause is of­fi­cially un­deter­mined, but ar­son is sus­pec­ted. The cause re­mains un­der in­vest­ig­a­tion by the town­ship’s fire mar­shal.

Four fire en­gine com­pan­ies and two lad­der com­pan­ies were called to 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive at about 10:30 p.m. after mo­tor­ists on the nearby Pennsylvania Turn­pike saw flames shoot­ing above the build­ing. The fire en­gulfed thou­sands of news­pa­pers stacked be­hind the com­pany’s ware­house, as well as a load­ing dock and a por­tion of the roof.

“You had pal­lets of wrapped news­pa­pers [catch fire]; there was no heat source in the area and there were no light­ning strikes,” Kelly said, ex­plain­ing the known con­di­tions of the blaze.

Those cir­cum­stances would seem to rule out ac­ci­dent­al or nat­ur­al causes.

Kelly de­clined to dis­cuss spe­cif­ics of the in­vest­ig­a­tion, which he de­scribed as act­ive. Po­lice have asked North­east Times ex­ec­ut­ives wheth­er any­one might have a motive to harm the news­pa­per. 

Bat­talion Chief Robert Spon­heimer of the Ben­s­alem Fire De­part­ment did not re­spond to calls re­quest­ing com­ment.

Since the fire, the pa­per’s news team has been op­er­at­ing out of the com­pany’s Broad Street Me­dia of­fices in Cherry Hill.

To con­tact the news de­part­ment, call 215-354-3025 or e-mail ••

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