NORTH BRADDOCK (KDKA) — A man has been arrested in connection to a July 4 fire that took place on Ridge Avenue in North Braddock.
According to Police, James Swift is being charged with eight counts of arson, endangering persons after he allegedly set fire to a home on Ridge Avenue.
After North Braddock Volunteer Deputy Fire Marshal Scott Mackanick investigated the fire, he determined the cause of the fire was arson and passed the case off to Allegheny County Police detectives to conduct a criminal investigation.
Detectives then interviewed the owner of the home Patricia Culligan and through their investigation learned that she and Swift resided at the residence. They also found Culligan had an insurance policy of over $300,000 on the home and that Swift had her power of attorney.
A resident of Ridge Avenue that asked to remain anonymous showed detectives a video of Swift entering the residence via another street, Poplar Way, an alley that runs parallel to Ridge Avenue after parking on Willow Street. The video showed Swift entering the home, staying inside for a couple of minutes and then quickly leaving the home. Moments later, heavy smoke can be seen coming from the front of the home.
Culligan later confirmed that parking on Willow Street would be an inconvenience and that she and Swift always park on Ridge Avenue.
Subsequent interviews with Culligan and her daughter confirmed that it was Swift and his vehicle involved on July 4 parking on Willow Street.
According to police, Swift has a history of violence, including several domestic incidents where he physically assaulted Culligan.
He will have a primary hearing Tuesday, July 30.