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Westmoreland

Ligonier Township man charged with burning his own house

Joe Napsha
| Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, 9:18 a.m.
A home on Cool Spring Lane in Ligonier Township is seen with fire damage on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. Police charged homeowner Robert A. Forgie, 66, with arson and other counts related to the fire on Friday, Aug, 17, 2018.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
A home on Cool Spring Lane in Ligonier Township is seen with fire damage on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. Police charged homeowner Robert A. Forgie, 66, with arson and other counts related to the fire on Friday, Aug, 17, 2018.

Ligonier Township police on Saturday arrested a local resident for allegedly setting fire to his house a night earlier.

Robert A. Forgie, 66, of Cool Spring Lane, is charged with arson, risking a catastrophe and dangerous burning.

Forgie was arraigned before Ligonier District Judge Denise Snyder Thiel and placed in the Westmoreland County Prison after failing to post $50,000 bond, according to court documents. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Aug. 24.

Township police could not be reached for comment.

The fire at Forgie’s house, located just east of Ligonier Borough, started in the living room, Waterford Fire Capt. Glenn Cramer said. A state police fire marshal investigated early Saturday to determine what caused the fire, which had been reported around 10 p.m. Friday by a neighbor, Cramer said.

Forgie, who was home at the time of the fire, escaped without injury, Cramer said. Robert Forgie and Donna Forgie bought the house in April, according to county real estate records.

A family member on Saturday said Robert Forgie lived in the house alone.

The house was not destroyed, but the fire burned a hole through the side of the house, said Darlington Fire Chief Robert McDowell.

Crews knocked down the fire in about 30 minutes, during which time all four lanes of Route 30were closed as firefighters laid hose across the roadway, Cramer said.

Waterford firefighters were assisted by units from the Ligonier, Darlington, Wilpen, Chestnut Ridge, Youngstown and Latrobe fire departments, Cramer said.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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