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Pennsylvania firefighter who is fire chief’s son charged with arson

Sarah Buynovsky, WNEP-TV:

The son of a fire chief is in trouble, accused of torching a home. The fire just before Christmas left one man homeless and damaged two buildings.

Richard Hart, 18, said nothing after his arrest on arson and burglary charges Friday.

Hart is a Wilkes-Barre Township firefighter and the son of the Wilkes-Barre Township fire chief.

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Jacob Seibel,

According to an affidavit, Hart was walking home from McDonald’s early Dec. 21 when he saw a cat that resembled his grandmother’s. He told police he chased it in through the back door of 115 Casey Ave.

According to the affidavit, he said he went inside and was smoking a cigar. He accidentally kicked over a gas can once, then a second time on purpose, police said. He then took a puff of his cigar and dropped it into the pool of gas, knowing it would catch fire.

According to the affidavit, he left as the fire spread to go to his Frances Street home where he ate pizza and fell asleep only to be woken up by his fire pager. He then went to help fight the fire he started, but by the time firefighters arrived on scene, the home was engulfed.

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