2 Indiana area volunteer firefighters charged in arson at Amish furniture store | TribLIVE.com
Regional

2 Indiana area volunteer firefighters charged in arson at Amish furniture store

Joe Napsha
1724637_web1_FireBack

Two Indiana County volunteer firefighters have been jailed for allegedly setting fire to an Amish furniture store about 15 miles north of Indiana — one of a string of 11 suspicious fires in that region since August 2018, state police said Wednesday.

Nicholas Leone, 22, of Creekside, and Dylan Dalessio, 19, of Plumville, allegedly caused the fire that destroyed the furniture store in West Mahoning Township on Jan. 25, according to state police Cpl. Greg Agosti, supervisor of the fire marshal unit based in Ridgway. The store, which was owned by Roman Blyer, 26, of Smicksburg, is in an Amish region of northern Indiana County.

Both Leone and Dalessio were members of the Plumville Volunteer Fire Company that responded to the fire. Prior to his arrest, Leone had quit the Plumville fire department and applied to the Creekside Volunteer Fire Company, police said.

The Plumville fire department is cooperating in the ongoing investigation, police said.

Leone and Dalessio were both charged on Tuesday with two counts of conspiracy to commit arson with danger of death or bodily injury, recklessly burning an unoccupied structure and recklessly burning property worth more than $5,000. They were arraigned before Homer City District Judge Susanne Steffee and placed in the Indiana County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond each, pending a preliminary hearing on Oct. 15.

A third person, Troy Kromer, 52, of Punsutawney, was charged on Sept. 12 with arsons in three unrelated cases, police said.

Authorities are investigating 11 arsons or fires of undetermined origin in that area of Indiana County since August 2018, police said.

The string of suspicious fires started on Aug. 9, 2018, with a fire destroyed a house and garage in Smicksburg and included a fire at the Harmony Grove Lutheran Church in Creekside. The most recent fire was at a barn on Sept. 15 in White Township.

The pair were arrested as a result of an investigation by the state police, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana County District Attorney’s Office and state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

A $10,000 reward has been offered by the ATF and Pennsylvania CrimeStoppers for information leading the arrest of the culprits.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Regional | Top Stories
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.