Man charged with arson for Etna fire that damaged 2 buildings

A man has been charged with arson for a fire that damaged two buildings and sent a firefighter to the hospital.

The fire broke out around noon on Tuesday at 86 Vilsack Street in Etna. Everyone who lived in the three-story duplex made it out safely.

PHOTOS: Crews battle large fire at several buildings in Etna

When he was interviewed, police said a resident, Elmer Lewis, 74, admitted to pouring gasoline throughout the duplex and in the garage, and lighting an area in a second-floor bedroom.

About 20 fire companies in the North Hills showed up to help extinguish the flames.

A resident was treated for minor injuries and a firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion.

Officials say a garage door that was blown off the building almost hit a police officer and two firefighters before striking a fire truck.

Witnesses told police Lewis said he started the fire and that he needed more gasoline, according to court documents.

Lewis is charged with several counts of aggravated arson, arson, causing or risking a catastrophe and criminal mischief.

He was placed in the Allegheny County Jail.

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