Sunday, July 13, 2014

Firefighter accused of setting Dupont fire

February 19. 2013 11:02PM
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DUPONT – A volunteer firefighter with the Dupont Hose Co. was charged Wednesday night with setting a fire that damaged an apartment building earlier this month.

State police at Wyoming allege David Charles Donnora, 23, of Highway 315, Pittston Township, admitted to using a lighter that ignited a couch on the rear porch at 215 Main St., Dupont, on Dec. 10.

Donnora was arraigned on two counts of arson and one count each of reckless burning and criminal mischief. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bail.

He could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint:

Firefighters with the Dupont Hose Co. responded to a fire at the apartment building at about 7 a.m. Dec. 10. After the fire was put out, state police deputy fire marshal Trooper Ron Jarocha began his investigation into the cause of the blaze by taking pictures and inspecting the scene.

Donnora followed Jarocha around the building and was allegedly overheard saying, I didn't know anyone lived there, the complaint says.

Firefighters searched the building for occupants and learned the only tenant had gone to work. Only one apartment was occupied.

Jarocha gathered four Dupont firefighters, including Donnora, near the rear porch, where he asked them about the blaze. Three of the firefighters believed the blaze originated near tires and a couch while Donnora's answers were evasive, according to the complaint.

Investigators interviewed Dupont Assistant Fire Chief John McArdle and firefighter Christian Yacovelli, who claimed Donnora was already at the hose company and nearly dressed in gear when they arrived to respond to the blaze.

Donnora initially told investigators he woke up to go to a gym. While driving away from his residence, 911 dispatched firefighters for the blaze and Donnora said he drove to the hose company and opened the bay doors.

During a second interview with investigators on Wednesday, Donnora stated he started the fire by igniting a couch with a lighter, according to the complaint.

Donnora is also a volunteer firefighter in Laflin.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Jan. 9.

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