LIGONIER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Police have filed charges against a Ligonier Township man who allegedly admitted he set his own house on fire Friday night.
Officers were sent to the 200 block of Cool Springs Lane just after 10 p.m. for a report of a house fire with someone trapped inside.
When officers arrived on the scene, they tried to go inside the burning home, but were driven back by smoke and fire. An officer then went around the side of the house and found the homeowner, 66-year-old Robert Forgie, coughing and choking on smoke. The officer dragged Forgie away from the fire.
According to a criminal complaint, as the officer was dragged Forgie away, he saw a red gas can that was fully engulfed in flames in the side yard. The officer also smelled a strong odor of gas near the home.
After firefighters extinguished the flames, officers spoke to two witnesses.
The witnesses told police they saw Forgie standing at the side of his house, pouring gasoline on the flames and screaming, “I want a new house.”
The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal was called to investigate. He found there were three points of origin for the fire and accelerants were found at all three points. The fire was then ruled an arson.
The criminal complaint says Forgie later told police, “I did it. I dumped the gas on the house.” When officers asked why, he said, “I wanted a new house.”
Forgie is now facing charges of arson, dangerous burning and risking a catastrophe. He was sent to the Westmoreland County Prison after he failed to post $50,000 bond.