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1 Arrested In Latrobe Apartment Building Arson

LATROBE (KDKA) –One person has been arrested in connection with an arson at a Westmoreland County apartment building Wednesday morning.

According to emergency dispatchers, the fire broke out in the 500-block of Main Street in Latrobe around 6:30 a.m.

Latrobe had five units fighting the flames and more than a half a dozen others came in from out of town to help.

According to the fire chief, one of the building residents has been arrested after allegedly starting the fire in a closet.

"We had a collapse on the second floor. They have an individual. It was already ruled an arson," Latrobe Fire Chief John Brasile said.

The suspect has been identified as 31-year-old Brandon Baradziej.

Baradziej confessed to setting the fire and said he did it to collect money on his renter's insurance policy. He also said he didn't want to hurt anyone.

"[He] used cologne as an accelerant to douse paper and books and clothing items in his closet. He then used a grill lighter to light a piece of paper, threw it inside the closet. He waited and checked on the fire until it spread. Then, he left the residence and notified his neighbor to call 911," Latrobe Police Chief Jim Bumar said.

Police said he played the role of the innocent victim like he was up for an Academy Award.

The building was destroyed as a result of the fire. Damages are estimated at $300,000.

All of the building's six apartments were occupied. Fortunately, there were no reports of entrapment or injuries.

Baradziej has been charged with arson and other charges.

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