Washington Twp. fire official nabbed for arson
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.