Suspect arrested in suspicious Pittston fire, house already torn down


PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A man is now facing charges related to a fire that was deemed suspicious in Pittston, Wednesday night.

Eyewitness News has learned the home involved last night on Defoe Street was condemned and the fire was no accident. Joseph Policare, 56, admitted to police that he started a fire at 10 Defoe Street just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Crowds formed as Pittston City firefighters battled large flames coming from a home on Defoe Street, Wednesday night.

John Morgan, the owner of Morgan’s Butcher Shop, was at his business when he said the smell of smoke filled the air.

“A big plume of black smoke from flames licking out the windows within a matter of minute, it was very quick,” said Morgan.

Several fire companies responded to the scene as well as police.

Poshi Walker lives nearby and says she was blocked inside for hours as emergency crews worked to contain the fire.

“On both ends of the street, there were fire trucks, the hoses, everything. So yeah all of us were trapped on this block,” Walker explained.

Court documents say Policare used to live at the residence before it was condemned back in April. However, neighbors say he has still been seen living at the home.

“The guy that was living there was out here screaming with his dog. I couldn’t tell, he just was screaming,” Walker said.

According to officials, witnesses reportedly heard Policare yelling, “I lit it! Let it burn!”

Policare was taken into custody and told police he heard voices in his head and admitted to lighting styrofoam on fire to shut the voices up.

Policare is now facing charges including arson and trespassing, and the house has since been demolished due to the damage it had sustained.

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