ShareThis Page

Washington Twp. fire official nabbed for arson

| Monday, July 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Washington Township assistant fire Chief James “Guido” McGavitt Jr. was arrested and jailed in connection with a fire at his residence Saturday night.

McGavitt, 37, of 213 Hillman St., Washington Township, remained in the Fayette County Jail on Sunday after he was charged with arson endangering property - reckless endangerment of an inhabited building, risking a catastrophe, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, Washington Township police were dispatched to the residence for a domestic disturbance.

Upon arriving at the scene, police made contact with Georgette McGavitt, who told them she and her husband were arguing when he asked her, “Do you like this house?” and started lighting cardboard boxes on fire while in the garage.

Georgette McGavitt told police she was able to grab the boxes and extinguish the fire.

As the argument ensued, she told police, James McGavitt entered the house, got two knives and said, “I'm going to go out in a blaze of glory.”

That's when Georgette McGavitt dialed 911, the affidavit states.

James McGavitt allegedly made a motion that he was going to throw a knife at her but dropped it and fled the scene with the other knife.

He was later arrested and arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Jesse Cramer, who placed him in the Fayette County Jail when McGavitt wsa unable to post $40,000 straight cash bond.

Firefighters from Washington Township were not called to the scene.

Georgette McGavitt said Sunday that the charges filed against her husband “are inflated” and. although her husband is charged with recklessly endangering another person, she said no one was in danger of being hurt by the fire.

Washington Township Police Officer John M. McLaughlin Jr., who filed charges against McGavitt, could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Neither township fire Chief Robert Bennett nor Charles Horan, president of the township fire department, could be reached for comment Sunday.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com. Joe Napsha can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.