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September 30, 2015

Suspect arrested, charged in Gayborhood arson

Authorities unsure of motive behind Sept. 17 blaze

Philadelphia police have arrested a suspect in connection with a destructive Gayborhood fire earlier in September that was ruled by authorities to be an arson.

According to the Philadelphia Gay News, local and federal authorities on Wednesday arrested an Olney man, who has been charged with arson and related offenses. CBSPhilly reports he has been identified as 52-year old Stephen Pettiway.

The three-alarm fire, reported to officials at 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 17, was allegedly set at the former Letto Deli at 208 S. 13th St., which had been undergoing renovations to be reopened as a French restaurant. Damage at the restaurant and the nearby Gramercy and Chancellor apartments reached more than $1 million. There were no injuries in the blaze.

The investigation was carried out by the ATF, the Philadelphia Police Department and the Philadelphia Fire Department. A $5,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest.

At the time, authorities released a surveillance photo of a suspect, however it was not clear whether the suspect was the man in the photo.

Investigators have not yet identified a motive in the case.