Clearfield County man charged with arson of July garage fire, “act of revenge”

Local News

CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A DuBois man is facing arson charges after authorities determined him as the cause of a garage fire earlier this year.

The Houtzdale Fire Department responded to a structure fire at a residence in Decatur Township on July 28, 2020. The structure, a garage, was deemed a complete loss and the cause of the fire was at the time undetermined.

State police investigating the incident reported that the garage did not have anything electric connected to it. However, it was determined that the fire had originated from inside the garage.

Causes such as a lightning strike, stored utilities or a potential heat source were debunked. This lead investigators to believe the cause of the fire to be intentional.

On September 8, police interviewed a man who reportedly drove 23-year-old Michael Bickle to his foster parent’s residence on Bucket Line Road. Bickel then allegedly stole an All-Terrain Vehicle from the property.

Thereafter, the man reportedly left Bickle at the scene after he told the man that he quote “needed to get revenge on his foster mother for sending him to prison.”

Bickle later told the man that he allegedly used a five-gallon gas can and a rolled-up dollar bill to set the garage on fire. He then reportedly fled the scene on another ATV stolen from the property.

Bickle was subsequently arrested and is facing multiple charges including arson, recklessly endangering another person, criminal mischief, and retaliation against a witness, victim, or party.

Bickle is being held at Clearfield County Prison on $50,000 bail. His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for September 30.

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