Man Jailed After Setting Alleged Spite-Fueled Fire
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A man has been jailed on charges that he set a fire that destroyed a western Pennsylvania apartment building on Thanksgiving to get back at his girlfriend’s husband.
Johnstown police say 46-year-old James McDonald told them he planned to confront the man but instead set the fire in a vacant duplex next to the apartment building where the woman lived. The fire destroyed two vacant buildings and the apartment building, leaving at least 12 people homeless, though nobody was hurt.
Police say McDonald had threatened the woman in the days before the fire and was seen on video taken from a nearby residence after the fire was reported about 9:30 p.m.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for McDonald who allegedly told police he said a few prayers and left behind a Bible after setting the fire.
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