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Pa. man charged with burning his home

January 13, 1998

Pa. man charged with burning his home

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - A Mercersburg man was arrested Thursday in connection with a fire that destroyed his home, according to Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Skip Sydnor.

Thomas Dale Metcalf, 44, of 14291 Fort Loudon Road, was charged with arson in the fire that broke out at 9:16 p.m. Jan. 2, according to the police report.

Metcalf was arraigned before District Justice David Hawbaker and released on $20,000 bail, Sydnor said.

Arson is a felony of the second degree and is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and not more than a $25,000 fine, Sydnor said.

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The 27-by-53-foot double-wide home set on a block foundation with a basement, wood frame and vinyl siding, was gutted by the fire, which started in the master bedroom by a candle, Sydnor said.

The candle was lighted and laid on a dresser in the bedroom so it would burn down and start the fire, Sydnor said.

Metcalf lived in the home with his two children, but nobody was home at the time of the fire, Sydnor said.

Two birds and several fish were killed in the fire, Sydnor said.

There were no injuries.

The Mercersburg, Montgomery, Peters and Warren Volunteer Fire Company extinguished the fire, which caused an estimated $100,000 in damage, Sydnor said.

The house was insured, he said.

- Lisa Graybeal

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