Name Released of Man Who Set Fire in UC Apartment


Name Released of Man Who Set Fire in UC Apartment
From Staff Reports

Michael R. Gass, 48, of Union City, has been charged with three felony counts, including arson, when he became angry, and threw objects out of his apartment at 13 1/2 North Main Street in downtown Union City. In the process, he knocked over a hot stove in the apartment, which caused a fire, and filled the apartment with smoke.

Gass locked himself inside his apartment, barricaded the front door with furniture, undressed and jumped out of a second-story window, police said. When police arrived at the scene around 12:30 a.m., they observed a nude, conscious man lying on his stomach holding a guitar and case, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed with the police criminal complaint.

Gass was transported to UPMC Hamot in Erie for medical treatment via ambulance, but the severity of his injuries is unknown.

The affidavit states the trooper noticed a rope attached to a small plastic basket hanging out of the second-story window of Gass’ apartment so he made entry into the apartment complex with a PSP fire marshal. They attempted to access Gass’ apartment but firefighters had to ram the door since it was locked and dead bolted. Gass also tried to barricade the door with several wooden tables, according to the affidavit.

At about 1:15 a.m., the trooper spoke with a bartender at Kim’s Townhouse, which is located directly beside the apartment complex, who stated a couple patrons mentioned they heard a man shouting inside the complex earlier that night, the affidavit stated. The bartender told police another patron left the bar around midnight and reported a man was throwing objects out of his second-story window.

According to the affidavit, the bartender then walked outside to the parking lot and saw a nude man jump out of the second-story window of the apartment complex.

Union City Volunteer Fire Co. was dispatched to the scene at about midnight and didn’t leave until almost 2 a.m. Tuesday. Elgin-Beaverdam Hose Co. also responded to the scene and Stancliff Hose Co. from Waterford stood by at the Union City station.

There was minimal damage to the apartment itself. No one else was injured.