DuBOIS — The Sandy Township Supervisors praised the township police department for making an arrest in a series of arsons which occurred over the last several months in the Sabula area.
“I’d just like to thank the police for the great work they did on catching the arsonist out on Kilmer Road,” Supervisor Kevin Salandra said at Monday’s township meeting. “They (police) put a lot of time into that.”
“Being one of those guys that had to go out and (fight) with those burning trailers, I’ll extend my appreciation to the police department as well,” said Supervisor Mark Sullivan, who is also a member of the Sandy Township Volunteer Fire Department.
Supervisors’ Chairman Jim Jeffers also joined in the praise.
“Arson is one of the hardest cases to prove and to prosecute, and being about five or six months, I think it’s a very timely investigation,” said Jeffers, who is a retired state policeman. “In my past experience, I think they did a good job.”
On May 31, Sandy Township Police arrested and charged Brady Dilion Michael Burkett, 23, 32 TimetoBid Road, DuBois, with arson and related offenses including burglary, criminal mischief, recklessly endangering another person and criminal trespass regarding a fire at 31 Timetobid Road, according to a previously published Courier Express article.
Burkett has been arraigned before District Judge Michael Morris and placed in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday before District Judge Patrick Ford, DuBois.
Burkett is accused of targeting vacant or unattended properties, which included five mobile homes and one shed.
The most recent incident occurred at 9:52 p.m. on May 30 when a fire destroyed a vacant mobile home at 31 Timetobid Road.
A man was identified outside of the mobile home just minutes before the fire occurred, according to the report. Officers located the man, conducted interviews and searched the property where he was residing.
The police said evidence was recovered from the scene and at his residence linking him to the crime spree. He was interviewed at the Sandy Township Police Station and reportedly confessed to his involvement in all the fires in that neighborhood since Feb. 16.
All incidents occurred in close proximity along TimetoBid Road, Judge Road and Phillips Creek Road. A joint investigative team was established between the Sandy Township Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Unit, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Sandy Township Fire Department and the Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed at Ford’s office, the May 30th fire at 31 Timetobid Road originated inside the vacant mobile home on a couch near the front door. No ignition sources were discovered. It was determined that the fire was a result of the crime of arson and caused damage in excess of $5,000.
The affidavit states that Burkett admitted to starting the fire by using a lighter to ignite a couch cushion, then left the burning home and returned to his residence. The fire completely destroyed the home and all contents.