MADISON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A fire destroyed a mobile home in Madison Township Sunday night, and state police are now ruling the fire to be arson.
PSP Dunmore’s Fire Marshal Unit assisted a local department in responding to the fire. According to a release, when units arrived on scene, the mobile home was fully engulfed and the resident of the home could not be located.
Neighbors told officers the homeowner did not drive, and they heard him leave the mobile home a short while before the fire began.
A time later, the resident, identified as Josean Ortiz, walked back to the scene carrying a backpack and two cats in cat carriers. In an interview with investigators, Ortiz admitted that he lit a box on fire in the mobile home and watched the room burn before packing up his cats and leaving.
Investigators say Oritz has mental health issues and was taken to Geisinger CMC for an evaluation. The cats were taken to Griffin Pond Animal Shelter.
Troop Winters with Pennsylvania State Police told Eyewitness News that charges against Ortiz are pending.