$10,000 reward offered for arsonist setting apartment fires

Authorities are searching for an arsonist who has been setting fires at a luxury apartment complex in Center City.

The Sterling is a gleaming tower of what are called "apartment homes" sitting on JFK and 18th. It has a cool, modern appeal, but there's trouble.

According to authorities, someone set a decorative wreath ablaze on a door on the fifth floor across from the trash chute shortly before 11:30 p.m. Thursday. It's the sixth arson in under a month and fear is rising.

"It's very alarming. It's been a constant occurrence. It's frightening. It's shocking and we're very concerned," resident Victor Collins said.

As FOX 29 first reported last month, the fires started on July 12. They've all been set on lower floors some in the trash room others in hallways. The brazen arsonist ignited a shirt and tossed it into a hall--same with a box, according to investigators.

Collins lives with his partner on the 29th floor paying $4,500 a month. He's sharply critical of security inside the building, which is owned by Aimco of Denver.

"Anybody who intentionally sets a fire, especially in a large residential structure is a dangerous person," Sam Rabdi with the ATF said.

Rabadi believes the firebug lives in the building or has access to it.

On the phone, a company spokesperson tells FOX 29 it's beefing up its security team and installing cameras. There had been none in the hallways and stairwells.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Sterling Apartment Homes management company, Aimco, have partnered and have announced a reward for information leading to the identification and arrest for those responsible for several small fires set inside a residential apartment building. ATF is offering a reward of up to $5,000, which will be matched by the building management company for a total reward of up to $10,000.