Old Roadside America statue targeted by arson in Heidelberg Twp.



A small slice of Americana was targeted earlier this week by an arsonist.

State police and firefighters responded shortly after 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16, to reports of a fire on the property of the Creative Crafts Novelty Store, 125 Reistville Road, Heidelberg Township.

According to a public information report by Reading-based Pennsylvania State Police L Troop, a novelty statue that originally stood at the Roadside America attraction in Upper Bern Township, in Berks County, was found to be on fire.

The statue, depicting a Dutch man and woman from Pennsylvania, was purchased by Andrew King after the once popular 85-year-old tourist attraction ceased operations in 2020. King moved the statue to Lebanon County there are less than a year.

“We found a fire engulfing the top of the statue,” said Private Janssen Herb, a PSP fire marshal with Troop L, who is investigating the incident. “The fire was quickly extinguished.

The statue is about 10 feet tall and 10 feet wide, according to the release.

“There were strong indicators of this fire being intentionally lit,” Herb said. “We are looking at a minimum of $ 5,000 in damages. ”

Although no injuries were reported, investigation revealed that parts of the statue were deliberately set on fire and that the fire damaged a significant part of the farmer depicted on the statue.

“It would be a crime for Pennsylvania,” Herb said. “It’s early in the investigation, but we are in the process of developing suspects.”

This screenshot from a report on WFMZ.com shows the damaged statue after the fire was extinguished.

According to a report from WFMZ, King is looking for someone to help repair the damage to the iconic statue. Interested parties should call Creative Crafts at 717-949-8377.

Herb urged the public to contact if they have any information about the arson.

“If you have any information, no matter how small, give us a call,” Herb said. “Call even if the information seems irrelevant to you, because you never know. It may take this little piece of the puzzle to help us figure out what happened.

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