PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –A mental health hearing was scheduled to take place Thursday morning for a man accused of arson.
Edward McDonald, 27, is accused of starting a massive fire early Friday morning in Homestead that destroyed five buildings and displaced nine residents.
McDonald was ruled incompetent to stand trial and ordered to a 60-day evaluation at Torrance State Hospital in Westmoreland County.
A psychiatrist testified McDonald suffers from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and psychotic disorder.
According to police, McDonald reportedly told neighbors he was depressed, heard voices and was worried about the end of the world.
Authorities in Homestead knew about mental problems. KDKA is told that McDonald even tried to get help at Western Psych.
According to the criminal complaint, McDonald told police he squirted lighter fluid on a couch and that it resembled “a lake of fire.” One building after another was engulfed by a huge wall of flames.
The Allegheny County Fire Marshal has estimated the damage in excess of $2 million.
A fundraiser will be this weekend for the victims of the fire.
The event will be held at “Stay Tuned Distillery” at the historic John Munhall Neighborhood House on Saturday, Jan 31 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be entertainment, food and drinks.
If you’d like to help:
Checks can be made out to ANEW/ACORN International with “Homestead Family Relief” written in the memo line and mailed to ANEW Community Institute, PO BOX 533, Homestead, Pa. 15120.
Tickets to the event can be purchased at this link. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1503870973226532/
The $25 admission fee gets you food and drinks, proceeds benefit the fire victims.