COAL TOWNSHIP — Richard Giedosh, the former owner of 951 W. Holly St., has been charged with felonies of arson (three counts), causing or risking catastrophe and criminal mischief for a fire that destroyed the property shortly before noon on Jan. 30.
Detective Matthew Hashuga charged Giedosh, 31, after an extensive investigation following the incident on Jan. 30. Giedosh was on probation at the time of the fire.
According to the criminal complaint, 951 W. Holly St. was purchased by Melinda Deppen, of Paxinos, at a Northumberland County upset sale in September. Both Deppen and Northumberland County probation officers advised Giedosh that he was not permitted to reside at the residence.
Firefighters were dispatched to the residence on Jan. 30 for a reported structure fire. Witnesses reported seeing Giedosh in the area of the home shortly before the fire.
All Coal Township fire units along with firefighters from Shamokin, Overlook and Kulpmont responded.
The fire was deemed suspicious since the home was supposed to be unoccupied. A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal was requested to the scene to assist with the investigation.
The structure was, according to the report, a total loss.
During the investigation, Giedosh admitted he was inside the residence on West Holly Street on Jan. 30. Giedosh told police he lit a fire in a bucket full of paper and wood to stay warm.
Giedosh apologized for his actions and stated he did not intend to burn the building down, according to police.
Police said Deppen did not have insurance on the property.
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