Friday, December 4, 2020
Friday, December 4, 2020

Volunteer teen firefighter accused of setting home fire

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BEACKENRIDGE, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a teenage volunteer firefighter set fire to a duplex where he once lived because he wanted to respond to a fire call.

Patrick Gillis is charged with arson, causing a catastrophe and intentionally destroying an unoccupied structure.

Authorities say the 18-year-old admitted putting a lighter and some pieces of paper in a microwave, turning it on and leaving the residence in Brackenridge, about 22 miles (35 kilometers) north of Pittsburgh.

The fire was reported around 4 p.m. Monday, and authorities determined it was intentionally set in the kitchen. Witnesses said they saw Gillis in the area just before the fire broke out, then saw him return as one of the firefighters battling the blaze.

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No injuries were reported.

It wasn’t known Tuesday if Gillis has retained an attorney.

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