Tenant Charged With Arson In Meadville Apartment Fire - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Tenant Charged With Arson In Meadville Apartment Fire

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A 20-year-old Meadville man is in the Crawford County jail, charged with setting the fire at the Northgate Apartment complex early on the morning of March 11.

The suspect is Brandon Irwin, a tenant who lived in one of the apartments in the building off Route 77 and Leslie Road.

Police arrested Irwin Monday morning at the Quality Inn, where he had been staying since the fire.

West Mead Township police say Irwin intentionally set fire to a cardboard box full of papers in his apartment. Investigators say he first used a lighter to set a piece of paper on fire, then dropped the burning paper into the box.

According to the criminal complaint police said he did it because he was "bored" and "stressed." The fire spread throughout the 10 unit apartment complex, heavily damaging the whole building. A dozen tenants escaped unharmed.

Neighbors said other tenants suspected Irwin all along.  Bud Tomkins, who lives in across from the damaged building said, "I was told that night by one of the guys who lived there that it was a 20-year-old kid who lived in the basement, I don't know that, but that's what he said."

Irwin is charged with arson, recklessly endangering other people and property and criminal mischief.  He is in the Crawford County Jail with bond set at 150 thousand dollars.

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