Man pleads guilty to setting fire to Johnstown building


PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ) — A man who intentionally set a building on fire in Johnstown in 2018 has pleaded guilty in federal court, according to United States Attorney Scott W. Brady.

Mark A. Hutchison, 34, pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property by fire.

According to the release, Hutchison intentionally set a fire in December of 2018 that destroyed a commercial building on Fairfield Avenue in Johnstown that was under renovations at the time. The insurance claim from the fire was for $1.2 million.

An investigation showed that the fire started in the middle section of the life side of the building, which was at the street level. Nearby surveillance cameras captured a person near the left side of the building, who showed the person walking away with some type of light approximately 15 minutes prior to the fire being reported, according to the report,

Hutchison admitted that he had set the fire in an interview, explaining that he had purchase kerosene from a nearby Sheetz a few days before the incident.

His sentencing has been scheduled for Feb. 11 2021. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.

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