PHILADELPHIA-A U.S. district court brought arson charges Oct. 9 against three youths-including two minors-accused of setting the March 13 tire fire that severely damaged a highway overpass in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia. Keith McMahon, 18, and the two juveniles are part of a teen arson gang that set an estimated 13 fires in the Philadelphia area, according to charges filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The three are suspected of setting the fire on the premises of Philadelphia Tire Recycling, and Mr. McMahon also was accused of setting an unrelated fire April 6 in an unoccupied commercial building in Philadelphia.
Another 18-year-old, listed simply in court papers as ``J.D.,'' was also named in the tire fire charges. J.D. was killed in a July 31 auto accident.
The tire fire, which started in the early hours of March 13 and burned for most of that day, scorched through the concrete of an overpass of Interstate 95, exposing steel support beams. Original damage estimates were $3 million, but actual repair costs were about double that amount.
No date has been set for trial against Mr. McMahon and the others, said a court spokesman.
Dec. 2, however, has been set as the trial date for four suburban Philadelphia men accused of risking a catastrophe, creating a public nuisance and other charges related to alleged illegal tire dumping on the Philadelphia Tire Recycling site.
Daniel J. Carr, a tire recycler from Chalfont, Pa., was indicted on these charges, along with his son-in-law, Gerald Laarz, and employees David Mitchell and Edward Dyson.