3 Clarion County men charged in vacant house fire in Redbank
REDBANK — Three Clarion County men are being charged with arson in connection to a fire that destroyed a vacant house last May in Redbank, Armstrong County.
According to court documents, James D. McCauley, 24, of New Bethlehem, Austin M. Blose, 21, and Cody E. Troup, 20, both of Fairmount City, are accused of allegedly using spray paint and a lighter to torch the two-story structure at 195 Copenhavers Road shortly before 5 a.m. on May 12.
Hawthorn Fire Co. Chief Mike Troup, told investigators his company arrived at the scene to find nobody near the fully engulfed building and believed the cause of the fire to be suspicious. Trooper Luke Nelson, a fire investigator with state police Troop D, Butler, said there is no apparent relation between Chief Mike Troup and suspect Cody Troup.
Nelson said the case remained open nearly a year before a break came in February.
“I received a tip from an individual acquainted with (the suspects) and it started the whole snowball effect,” Nelson said.
According to the police criminal complaint, witnesses said McCauley, Blose and Troup were in a vehicle with two other people that morning when McCauley allegedly presented the idea of setting fire to the house.
“When all three were charged, it wasn't clear who played what role,” said Nelson.
“But the stories now seem to suggest that (Blose and Troup) were more onlookers than active participants.”
The other two people who were allegedly in the vehicle do not currently face any charges.
Court documents state that Troup's ex-girlfriend told police that he had admitted to setting the fire the morning after the incident and allegedly drove her to the scene of the fire on several occasions to point it out to her.
Another witness said that Blose also drove her back to the scene of the crime to show her the burned-down structure.
Authorities said the house, owned by Waneta L. Copenhaver, was destroyed and restitution will be due in an amount not yet determined.
All three suspects face charges of arson, criminal conspiracy, criminal mischief and criminal trespassing. McCauley was placed in Armstrong County Jail by District Judge James Owen on Wednesday. He was released the following day on $10,000 bond. Blose and Troup were released on their own recognizance.
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or 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.
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in 43-19 preseason loss at Bills
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
- Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
- QB Vick hits ground running in debut
- Butler organization seeks answers for unexplained phenomena
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers
- Biertempfel: Pittsburgh native faced quick learning curve as Marlins GM
- Pitt’s cancer institute marks 30 years with eye toward future
- Exclusive to the Trib: Lift the oil export ban? Think again