Man charged with setting Ross home on fire; filed insurance claim
This mobile home at 613 Blue Ridge Road, Ross Township, was damaged by fire Saturday morning. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
A Sciota man has been charged with arson for his role in a fire at an unoccupied Ross Township mobile home in April.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by trooper Nicolas De La Iglesia of the Pennsylvania State Police in the case against Jake Jahada:
At 5:59 a.m. April 27, a passerby saw smoke and flames coming from a blue mobile home at 613 Blue Ridge Road.
The man stopped, knocked on the door and called 911.
Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Fire Company Fire Chief Leon Clapper and members of the Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Fire Company were dispatched and arrived to find all doors and windows secured.
They forced their way into the burning residence and found no one inside. The fire was concentrated in a bedroom with the door to this bedroom propped open with a red plastic gas can containing a suspected accelerant. There were also shredded newspapers and tarp to aid in the spreading of the fire.
A fire marshal from Troop N determined that the fire had been intentionally set.
The mobile home was owned by Jahada, 34, however, he did not own the land the home was located on. A court order had been issued which instructed Jahada to remove the mobile home from the property of 613 Blue Ridge Road by May 1, or the other family would take legal possession of it.
Corporal Shawn Noonan and De La Iglesia interviewed Jahada at PSP Lehighton and he admitted to being at his mobile home shortly after 4 a.m. that day, and had left after being there for about 45 minutes.
He said that he lit a fire in the wood stove to dry out the residence, and locked the doors when he left.
Jahada said that he had been at the residence alone, and agreed that he was the only suspect.
He denied intentionally setting the fire within the mobile home, but said that if it was an accident, he caused the fire.
The fire marshal later was informed by an insurance company that Jahada had submitted a claim for the fire.
Jahada faces charges of arson and related offenses, and insurance fraud.
He is free in lieu of $2,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Aug. 2 before District Judge Colleen Mancuso of Brodheadsville.