Lawrence County man charged with setting own house on fire

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A Lawrence County man has been charged with torching his house to collect more than $160,000 in insurance money.

Timothy McConahy, 59, is accused of setting fire to his home on Fairground Road near New Castle in June 2009 and filing an insurance claim. The house was for sale as part of a divorce settlement that dictated it be sold as a marital asset, and proceeds were to be paid to Mr. McConahy's ex-wife.

Agents with the attorney general's office said Mr. McConahy had moved out of the house 10 months before the blaze and moved into his parents' house on the same road.

Agents and the fire marshal determined that the fire was intentionally set after finding a light in the garage covered in gas-soaked rags, in addition to gas-soaked walls, according to an affidavit filed by the attorney general's insurance fraud unit.

Mr. McConahy is charged with two counts of arson, one count of insurance fraud and one count of theft by deception.

He faces a preliminary hearing on Oct. 5.


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