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Police are searching for a man who they say is responsible setting fire to a woman's home in Newberry Township Monday afternoon.

Newberry Township Police said Douglas Dale Kesecker, 45, was seen with a fuel container and a plastic sprayer on the property just before the fire started on Monday, Dec. 10.

The woman who lived in the home was previously in a relationship with Kesecker, according to officials.

Kesecker, of the 500 block of Locust Point Road, East Manchester Township, faces charges of arson and fleeing or attempting to elude officer.

Fire: Police responded to the 700 block of Cassel Road at about 1:15 p.m. Monday after the homeowner, Loretta Bailey, reported that her cousin saw a man believed to be Kesecker go into her house, charging documents state.

About 1:20 p.m., someone called York County 911 and reported that smoke was coming from the center roof area of the Bailey's trailer, officials said.

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That person also reported seeing a maroon SUV leaving the area just before the fire, according to police.

Fire officials arrived and extinguished the fire, and officials said the blaze caused extensive damage to the home and contents.

Newberry Township Police Chief Steve Lutz said the home had extensive damage to it, and he did not believe the home was habitable. 

Investigation: Police said that Bailey had previously filed for a protection-from-abuse order against Kesecker.

She had called police throughout the day because of comments made from him to her through phone messages, charging documents state.

An officer found the vehicle believed to have left the scene in the parking lot of the Conewago Inn, which is a little more than a mile from the scene, officials said.

When the officer tried to pull Kesecker over, he fled the scene, according to police.

Charging documents state that a camera on the property caught Kesecker on the property with a red fuel canister and a plastic sprayer that appeared to contain a yellowish liquid consistent with gasoline. 

Police said the picture was taken just before the fire was reported. 

Newberry Township Police said in a news release Monday that the department is searching for him. The department said there is no indication that Kesecker poses any immediate danger to the public.

Anyone with information on Kesecker's whereabouts is asked to call Newberry Township Police at 717-938-2608.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.

 

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