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Volunteer Firefighter Accused Of Setting Vacant Mobile Home On Fire In Westmoreland County

NORTH HUNTINGDON, Pa. (KDKA) — A former volunteer firefighter is facing arson charges after investigators say he lit a vacant mobile home on fire in North Huntingdon.

Investigators say the suspect set the fire, then messaged fellow firefighters to “get ready for a call.”

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Rusted, twisted steel and a bunch of burnt debris are all that remains of a one-time mobile home destroyed by quick-moving flames in North Huntingdon.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

What started the blaze, according to North Huntingdon police, fire crews were quickly able to establish the fire. It was no accident.

North Huntingdon police have charged 25-year-old Shawn Mann of North Huntingdon with arson. Police say the one-time Irwin volunteer firefighter once worked for the owners of the trailer and allegedly went to a nearby fire department near the trailer, saying it would be a good structure for a training burn.

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That department declined the proposal, citing liability issues. Not long after, the trailer went up in smoke.

Investigators say the case broke when they got word that Mann allegedly sent Snapchat messages to multiple people that the fire was going to happen.

In a statement, Irwin’s fire chief said Mann was a “former member of the dept.” and he contacted members of other nearby fire departments about allegedly setting the fire, not members of the Irwin VFD.

The statement goes on to say that the Irwin VFD has fully cooperated with law enforcement’s investigation and Mann’s alleged actions “in no way reflect on the many dedicated volunteer firefighters who serve our community each and every day.”

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Police say they don’t believe Mann started any other known fires. Mann is free on a $15,000 bond. He faces multiple charges, including arson.

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