MUNHALL (KDKA) — Ryan Laubham, a volunteer firefighter in Munhall pleaded guilty to aggravated arson, arson endangering persons and arson endangering first responders after starting two fires in December 2018.
According to police, in the early morning of December 10, 2018, Munhall Police and Munhall Fire Department were called to a house on Crawford Avenue for a house fire. When they arrived, the resident said she was sleeping on her couch when she smelled smoke and woke up.
A second resident on Crawford Avenue approached fire officials and told them a fire had been set at his residence while he was inside. Officers then investigated and determined there was fire damage to the back porch and siding.
Allegheny County Fire Marshalls also responded to the fires and determined they were arson after an investigation from Deputy Fire Marshall Barry Karelitz. Deputy Michelle Gregory inspected the second residence with her K9 unit and the K9 did detect an accelerant.
An investigation from the Munhall Police obtained several security videos from residents on Crawford Avenue, Park School and cameras along Main Street.
The videos showed a man wearing a hoodie, dark pants and white shoes leaving a home on Lawrence Avenue, returning 30 minutes later and entering the garage. He then walked near Crawford Avenue and Scott Way carrying an unknown object. After briefly disappearing from camera footage, he reappeared walking in an alley behind one of the homes.
Two police vehicles responded, drove past the alley, once they were clear, the man ran to Main Street and disappeared into Munhall #4 fire station.
The investigation revealed the home on Lawrence Avenue was the home of Ryan Laubham, a volunteer at the #4 fire station.
Laubham admitted to setting the fires after agreeing to interview with police.
When asked why he set the fires he told officers, “he was bored.”
Laubham is facing two counts of aggravated arson, two counts of arson endangering persons and one count of arson endangering first responders.
He will be sentenced in November.