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Police: PA firefighter set homes on fire because he was bored

Security cameras show Munhall volunteer walking into homes before fires

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Tony Larussa,

A Munhall volunteer firefighter is accused of starting fires at two homes out of boredom.

Munhall police charged Ryan Laubham, 19, of Lawrence Avenue with arson and related crimes after a fire broke out at a home in the 100 block of Crawford Avenue shortly before 3 a.m. on Monday, according to court documents. Police arrested him for setting fire to a pair of occupied homes after investigators reviewed video surveillance cameras in the borough.

When investigators confronted Laubham, he told them that he started the fires because he was bored, according to a criminal complaint filed in support of the charges.

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The Park Volunteer Fire Company #4 is aware of the allegations and subsequent charges against one of our members…

Posted by Munhall Volunteer Fire Company #4 on Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Police say Ryan Laubham set one of the fires on Dec. 10 using gasoline and a second fire on Dec. 3 using paper towels. Both fires happened on Crawford Avenue. Laubham has since had his court arraignment and a bond set at $200,000.

“We have the public’s trust, and this is something that hurts that; not just for us, but for all volunteers,” said Munhall Fire Chief Ed Pletsch.

Pletsch is waiting for the legal process to come to its conclusion of what happened, but says this is impacting his whole department.

“It’s a first for us here at this station,” said Pletsch. “It’s never happened to us before, and hopefully we never go through this again.”

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