WILKES-BARRE TWP. — State police Wednesday charged a man with setting fire to an apartment building on Main Street in Laflin while his father was sleeping inside.
Vincent James Azat, 42, set the blaze in the kitchen and living room area on the first floor of 24 Main St. just after 4 a.m. Tuesday, according to court records.
Responding firefighters found heavy fire on the first-floor of the two-unit apartment building.
The first floor was vacant while Azat’s father, James Azat, 73, was sleeping in a second-floor apartment. James Azat escaped without injury but a dog died.
According to a criminal complaint:
Azat stood behind the building while firefighters battled the blaze. While holding a butane lighter and a cordless drill, Azat approached Laflin Assistant Fire Chief Mark Malvizzi and kept saying, “I’m sorry.”
State police deputy fire marshal Karri Dodson determined the fire originated in the first-floor kitchen and living room area of the unoccupied apartment.
Azat was arraigned by District Judge Michael Dotzel in Wilkes-Barre Township on three counts of arson and related offenses, and one count each of reckless burning and criminal mischief.
During the brief court proceeding, Azat said he lived at 24 Main St. in Laflin.
Azat was released on $50,000 unsecured bail and is expected to reside with relatives on Parsonage Street in Pittston.
Property records list Kerry Kocher, of Bear Creek Township, as owner of the Main Street apartment.