NORTH MAHONING TOWNSHIP — A Punxsutawney man has been jailed on arson and related charges in three fires in this northern Indiana County township — and authorities are asking if there are any links between these cases and other suspicious fires in Indiana and Jefferson counties.
Troy James Kromer, 52, was arraigned Friday before Clymer Magisterial District Judge Christopher S. Welch on charges that include an Aug. 12 fire in an unoccupied structure along Coolspring Road.
That 11:10 a.m. fire prompted Indiana County Emergency Management to call out Perry Township, Marion Center and Plumville District fire departments, as well as an Indiana County rapid-intervention team and Punxsutawney Ambulance.
Charges in that case include counts of first-degree felony arson, second-degree felony arson and three third-degree felony counts, two of reckless burning or exploding and one count of criminal mischief. A second-degree misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person also was filed.
He also is charged with pickup truck fires on Sept. 27, 2018, along Smith Road and in a wooded area between Smith and Coolspring roads on Aug. 30.
The September 2018 fire led to another first-degree arson count, and third-degree felony counts of criminal mischief and reckless burning or exploding, as well as a first-degree misdemeanor count of failure to control or report a dangerous fire, another second-degree misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person, and a summary count of dangerous burning.
The third fire prompted a third-degree felony count of reckless burning or exploding and summary counts of dangerous burning and scattering rubbish.
Charges were filed by the State Police Fire Marshal Unit for Troop C, based in Ridgway, Elk County, which has been investigating arson incidents in Jefferson County and northern Indiana County.
Welch placed Kromer in the Indiana County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond, pending a series of preliminary hearings beginning at 2 p.m. on Sept. 23.
State police are asking anyone who has information about recent arsons to call the fire marshal’s office in Ridgway at (814) 776-6136 or the Punxsutawney barracks at (814) 938-0510.