Police Allege Man Set Crawford Village Fire Following Dispute

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Pittsburgh man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail after McKeesport police said he deliberately set a fire at the Crawford Village housing complex to retaliate against his former girlfriend.

Willie McKinnon, 58, no fixed address given, is charged by McKeesport police with aggravated arson, arson, endangering other persons, endangering property, causing or risking a catastrophe, making terroristic threats, stalking, recklessly endangering other persons, defiant trespassing and criminal mischief in connection with the Aug. 16 incident.

According to court records, McKinnon is jailed in lieu of $50,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing Sept. 10 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

City firefighters and police were dispatched to the 60 building just after 6 a.m. Aug. 16 for a fire on the porch of one of the apartments, according to reports.

The fire was quickly extinguished, police said, and the Allegheny County fire marshal's office was notified. A deputy fire marshal determined that the blaze was deliberately set. 

Survelliance video taken from a nearby camera showed a suspect, identified by police as McKinnon, going onto the porch, stuffing a toy doll house with paper, and then lighting it on fire, according to a police report.

Police allege that McKinnon was retaliating against his ex-girlfriend, who lives in the apartment where the fire was set and had obtained a protection from abuse order against him. According to a police report, the two had argued the day before when McKinnon was told by the residents that he wasn't allowed in.

Seventeen people live in the building where the fire was set, police said.

Originally published August 30, 2018.

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