NEWPORT TWP. — A state inmate was arraigned Tuesday on charges he intentionally set fire to toilet paper and towels inside his cell at the State Correctional Institution at Retreat.
State police allege Miguel Angeel Millan, 39, started the fire by sticking a wooden pencil in an electrical outlet Aug. 30.
Millan admitted he set the fire because he was depressed and wanted to get out of jail, court records say.
Troopers said the blaze damaged a cell door.
According to the criminal complaint:
Millan told troopers he was depressed and was having problems and believed if he set a fire, he would get out of jail. Millan claimed he lit two bath towels on fire and placed them near a window in the cell door.
Millan claimed he stuck a pencil in an electrical outlet, then touched the pencil to toilet paper to set the towels on fire.
A cellmate assisted in setting the fire, Millan told troopers.
His cellmate said he was awakened by Millan banging on the cell door and screaming he wanted to get out. The cellmate denied he helped Millan set the fire, claiming he hid under his bunk bed while the towels burned.
State police said the cellmate, who wasn’t charged, said Millan “was loony the last few nights.”
Millan was arraigned by District Judge Joseph Carmody in Luzerne County Central Court on charges of arson, risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief and institutional vandalism. He was remanded to state prison for lack of $10,000 bail.
Online court records say Millan is serving a sentence for stalking and violation of a protection-from-abuse order in Philadelphia County.