A Greensburg man set a fire at his house Saturday evening and then went to stay at a nearby hotel, according to police.
Jeremiah Nathanial Morgan, 40, was arrested shortly after firefighters extinguished the flames at his Franklin Drive home. He was arraigned Sunday morning on arson and related charges.
Morgan was being held at the Westmoreland County Prison on $75,000 bail.
A mortgage lender filed a foreclosure action last month on the property, according to Westmoreland County records.
Firefighters and police were called to Franklin Drive at 7 p.m. for a report of smoke coming from the back of the two-story house. A state police fire marshal determined that the fire was intentionally set in the kitchen and dining room area, according to his arrest papers.
Morgan’s neighbors told Greensburg police they saw him standing in front of his home about 10 minutes prior to the fire. He told the neighbors that he was staying at the Ramada Inn in Hempfield, police said.
Officers tracked him to a room there and arrested him. Morgan told police he lit two candles “because it was dark” inside the house and put one on the floor near a pile of paperwork, according to the complaint.
Police said electricity was working at the home and a flashlight was found near the fire’s origin.
“The fire was also located near the entrance of the rear door to the residence where daylight is readily available,” Patrolman Elliott Fejes wrote in the complaint.
Morgan and then-wife Ashley purchased the property for $220,900 in June 2014, according to county records. The couple’s divorce was granted in May, according to county records.
The following day, The Money Source filed a mortgage foreclosure action against them in Westmoreland County.
On Sunday, the grass appeared unkempt and several window screens were lying in the front yard.
Morgan did not have an attorney listed in online court records. A preliminary hearing is set for June 27.