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November 1, 2013

Man faces attempted homicide, arson charges

NEW CASTLE — An Ellwood City man has been charged with arson in connection with a borough fire in September.

Timothy Douglas Jackson, 47, of 210 Franklin Ave., also is facing three counts of attempted homicide, as Ellwood City police said he endangered the lives of three people at the 422 Loop St. apartment he allegedly torched.

Firefighters were called to the Lawrence County Housing Authority apartment in the early morning hours of Sept. 24. Police also responded and assisted in alerting neighbors and clearing the area.

The fire destroyed the apartment, with damage estimated at between $75,000 and $85,000.

There were no injuries, but three people were in the apartment at the time the blaze broke out.

The criminal complaint states Jackson was an early suspect, noting he had a prior relationship with a woman who lived at the apartment.

Police said they interviewed Jackson several times regarding the case. And in a taped interview Thursday, police said, he admitted to pouring lighter fluid on the porch of the apartment, as well as along the sides and rear and setting it ablaze. Jackson allegedly told police he had done this after getting involved in a confrontation with several people at the apartment the day before.

Jackson told police he didn’t know if anyone was in the apartment, but the complaint notes the time of the fire, combined with Jackson’s knowledge of the people who lived there, justified attempted homicide charges.

Along with the three counts of attempted homicide, Jackson also is charged with two counts of arson, one count each of causing a catastrophe and criminal mischief and three counts of aggravated assault.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

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