Father and daughter charged with arson

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Police now say a Big Run house that caught on fire in the middle of the night with no one inside was set intentionally.

We have more on who’s in jail and accused of arson.

Ten months after fire destroyed a house that stood here, police have arrested the resident and one of his daughters.

Police say Donnie Schaffer, 40, texted his daughter Katie Schaffer, 22, to burn it “to the ground,” in response to a leaky roof.

The complaint goes on to explain texts between the two showing intent.

Donnie Schaffer wouldn’t talk to us in September, but another daughter did.

“The rain was leaking through into our light fixtures, so we decided to leave in case something happened to the house, and we came back for our dogs around 2:30 and we left and nothing was wrong,” said fire victim Tashawna Schaffer.

The fire chief said Schaffer was at work and his daughters were at a relative’s home when crews responded around 3:30 that morning.

At the time, a neighbor told us that it was too hot to go near.

“When I went down front, all I saw was orange,” said neighbor Kristi Patrick.

“It did wake me up. I heard the sirens. We had lots of trucks out here. The kids didn’t get to go to school that day because the bus just couldn’t get here to pick them up,” says neighbor Karen Huey.

The complaint says witnesses noticed items removed before the fire, from cell phones, and a laptop, to pistols, clothing, medicine, even vehicle titles.

Police charged the pair with 85 counts of arson, or one for each firefighter who responded.

“It just never struck me like they would do something like that,” says neighbor Bill Kuntz.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” says June Frantz from Punxsutawney.

Police say Nationwide Insurance also investigated the fire and determined it started in the first-floor dining room.

The complaint says Mr. Schaffer talked about buying a new home. Bail for both was set at $85,000 and they were arrested on Thursday.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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