BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A 37-year-old Altoona man faces felony charges after police said he started a fire in his bathroom.
Ryan Martz is charged with reckless burning and risking a catastrophe. Police said he started the fire Wednesday around 12:30 a.m. When police were trying to find the source of a 911 call about a fire, Martz was allegedly sitting on the steps to his apartment and said “Arrest me. I just started a fire. I want my attorney,” according to the charges filed.
Martz allegedly told officers he lit the fire to save himself from his wife. In the bathroom, police found a blanket with a large hole burnt through it and burnt toilet paper in the toilet. They said part of the shower was ripped and singed toilet paper was in the insulation. According to firefighters, it looked as if Martz tried to light multiple things on fire but they smoldered out before any significant damage was done.
The apartment started to fill up with smoke but firefighters sprayed down what was smoldering to make sure the items didn’t ignite.
Martz is currently in Blair County Prison and is unable to post bail. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 26.
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