Man admits he and cousin set fires at abandoned Pocono resort

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POCONO TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Arson charges have been filed after police say a man admitted he and a family member started two fires in February in Monroe County earlier this year.

The first fire was February 13th and the second was February 28th. Both occurred at the abandoned Birchwood Resort in Pocono Township, Monroe County.

Police say regarding the fire on the 13th, a mattress inside a cottage on the property was lit, but the structure did not catch fire. This fire was ruled arson.

Police say the February 28th fire was at the main building and it soon engulfed the entire building. It was ruled undetermined, but suspicious activity involving a dark-colored SUV before the fire reported by eyewitnesses led to foul play being believed as the likely cause.

An investigation led police to Steven Manickchand, 29, of East Stroudsburg, who owns an SUV that matched the description given by the eyewitnesses. Manickchand revealed that he and Brian Latchman are cousins and initially Manickchand said both were there at the time of both fires, but did not start them.

According to the Pocono Township Police Department, Latchman confessed that he and Manickchand started both fires with a lighter.

Charges filed include arson, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing and causing a catastrophe.

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