Charleroi woman facing arson charges accused of setting another fire
Charleroi Fire Chief Bob Whiten Jr. recognized a woman in the crowd, her face illuminated by the flames that broke the evening darkness.
As he battled the fire at 710 Crest Ave., shortly after 9 p.m. Sept. 24, he searched his memory for her name.
He called over Assistant Chief Tom Santoro, who recognized the woman as Tina Flynn. She had been charged with arson in March 2007 after admitting to setting one of two fires at a building in the 200 block of Prospect Avenue, and another at a structure in the 1100 block of Meadow Avenue.
The Charleroi fire officials immediately called state police Fire Marshall Steve Thompson to investigate.
“We told Steve, ‘We had a small fire, but we think it's Tina,'” Whiten recalled.
As a part of his investigation, Thompson summoned the woman – who had since married and changed her name to Tina Koskoski – for an interview.
Koskoski confessed to setting the fire, police said.
On Monday, Charleroi Regional Police cited Koskoski, 46, of 124 Prospect Ave., Apt. A, Charleroi, with a summary non-traffic citation for dangerous burning in connection with the fire at 710 Crest Ave. The citation was filed at the Charleroi office of Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins.
That fire had been extinguished by the time firefighters responded. A section of wooden lattice had caught fire on a rear porch of the two-story residence that houses three families.
Whiten said at the time one of the residents reported hearing a noise on the porch, looked out and put the fire out with a pot of water.
Koskoski is currently in jail after allegedly confessing to starting a June 22 fire at the Central Apartments in Roscoe, where she was living at the time.
“I thought she was in jail,” Whiten said, referring to allegedly seeing Koskoski on Sept. 24. “I was surprised she got five-years probation. But she's in jail now.”
On Friday, RESA police charged Koskoski with 179 charges, including arson, for the June 22 fire at the Central Apartments, 600 Furlong Ave.
Koskoski allegedly told investigators she set a mattress in the basement on fire because she was frustrated over her “nosey neighbors” and purported drug use in the three-story building.
Koskoski allegedly confessed to the crime during an Oct. 18 interview with Thompson and RESA officer Al Marcy at the Charleroi police department.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Koskoski told Thompson and Marcy she went into the basement to check the electrical meter after she noticed the bathroom lights in her apartment flickering. She allegedly confessed to setting a mattress on fire and then alerting the residents to get out of the building.
Tenants Larry Hines and Robert Rohland, as well as Stockdale firefighters Jessie Stringer, and Marcy, were injured during the fire. About 30 tenants escaped unharmed. Several other firefighters required medical treatment for heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. One dog and seven cats died in the blaze.
During her arraignment Friday night, Koskoski told Magisterial District Judge Jay Weller in North Strabane Township that she and her 19-year-old son had been living with two friends in Charleroi since her husband kicked her out of their house following an argument Oct. 5.
Koskoski is facing 85 counts of causing or risking catastrophe, one count of criminal mischief and four counts of arson and related offenses, all felonies, in connection with the Roscoe blaze
She is also charged with 85 misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person for allegedly placing the tenants and the first responders at the scene in danger, and four counts of simple assault for the injuries two tenants and two firefighters.
She is currently in the Washington County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bond set by Weller. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on the Roscoe charges at 10 a.m. Nov. 6 in Washington County Central Court.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Monessen nuisance bar hearing opens
- Charleroi man charged in 3 cases
- Former Monessen Mayor Smith injured in train crossing crash
- Donora man apprehended after North Belle Vernon pharmacy robbery
- DA Vittone gives Washington County $100K from drug forfeitures
- ‘Runner’ sets pace in new TV venture for Donora native Moses
- Donora council mediates dispute between former, current garbage haulers
- Man to stand trial for alleged assault of young boy in West Newton
- Lilliput in Finleyville finds big success with small homes
- Home health care worker assaulted in Monongahela
- Second career choice leads to business ownership in Charleroi