By Paul Peirce, Trib Live
Irwin fire Chief Justin Mochar said he told North Huntingdon police about firefighter Shawn Mann’s possible involvement in a suspicious April 27 blaze.
Mann, 25, of North Huntingdon was arraigned on charges of arson, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment filed by township police in connection with the 11:16 p.m. fire at an abandoned mobile home at 1190 Brookville Road. He admitted setting the fire in an interview with investigators Tuesday, according to court documents filed by police Sgt. Nicholas Dreistadt.
In a statement, Mochar said that while fighting the fire he heard from other firefighters at the scene that Mann may have made statements “regarding his possible involvement in the trailer fire.”
Mochar said he immediately notified township police.
“Chief Mochar and other members of the Irwin Fire Department have continued to fully cooperate with North Huntingdon police during the investigation,” he said in the statement.
Regarding court documents that said that Mann sent a Snapchat message to other firefighters “to get ready for a fire call,” Mochar said no one from Irwin fire department received the message but that it was sent to firefighters at a neighboring department.
“As fire chief, it is beyond disheartening to learn that the accused was willing to put so many others in harms way so they could serve themselves. I want to be crystal clear that the alleged actions of former member Shawn Mann in no way reflect upon the many dedicated volunteer firefighters who serve our community each and every day,” Mochar said. “The actions of one careless person should not tarnish the sacrifices made by the men and women of the Irwin Fire Department.”
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