Washington man arrested for setting fire to city home

November 20, 2013
Anthony Montgomery

A 20-year-old man was arrested after witnesses reported seeing him start a fire outside the home of a female acquaintance Tuesday along Ewing Street in Washington.

Anthony Montgomery of Washington was arrested Tuesday evening on Green Street after police said he started a fire at 770 1/2 Ewing St. Washington police noted in a report that Montgomery was found with a gas can and had a strong odor of gasoline about him. His clothes were taken as evidence.

Several witnesses reported seeing Montgomery place items in a garbage can, light the items on fire, place the can against a door to the home and run off. Brenda Clutter, who identified herself to a reporter as Montgomery’s aunt, was inside the home when the fire started about 4:30 p.m. but managed to escape before the house became engulfed in flames. Court records allege Montgomery poured gasoline on a pile of garbage on a porch at the rear of the home and set it on fire.

The Ewing Street home belongs to Rosella Milchak, Clutter said, and her nephew was having problems with another woman who lived at the home. That woman told police that Montgomery saw her and another man at Washington Crown Center mall last week and became jealous, Washington police Chief Chris Luppino said. The woman also told police Montgomery then threatened to burn down her house.

A state police fire marshal is invesigating the incident.

Montgomery was arraigned late Tuesday on charges of arson and recklessly endangering another person by District Judge Joshua Kanalis. A preliminary hearing has been set for next week.

Montgomery remains in the Washington County jail on $100,000 bond.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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