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Monroe man facing arson charge

Published January 16. 2012 05:03PM

A Monroe County man is facing a charge of arson and other counts following an incident that occurred about 3:57 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14.

State police at Fern Ridge said they received multiple calls from witnesses of a barn on fire along Astolat Road, near SR115, in Chestnuthill Township, at the time and date stated. The callers identified a man at the scene as being in a gold in color Ford Taurus before and during the fire, then leaving the scene. The suspect was stopped and taken into custody.

He was identified as Chester William Lewoc, 56, of Gilbert. The investigation revealed that the scene of the fire was also the scene of a fatal crash that occurred on Jan. 4 in which Lewoc's son, Frankie Chester Lewoc, 18, had died.

Lewoc was found to be under the influence when taken into custody. The fire endangered two vehicles and persons as he spread throughout the scene, troopers said. The fire was extinguished by volunteers from the West End Fire Company before it could cause any major damages. The barn is owned by Arthur Gins, troopers said.

Troopers added a lighter was found in Lewoc's vehicle and believed to have been used in setting the fire.

Lewoc was charged with arson, recklessly endangering another person, driving under the influence (DUI) and other motor vehicle code violations. He was arraigned before a district judge and committed to the county prison in Snydersville, troopers said.

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