Man Waives Hearing in Arson Case

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CLEARFIELD – A Madera man accused of setting a residence on fire twice in the same day waived his right to a preliminary hearing during Centralized Court on Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.

Nathaniel A. Mostoller, 24, of Madera has been charged with arson; burglary; endangerment of inhabited buildings; reckless burning or exploding; recklessly endangering another person; and criminal mischief. He was originally incarcerated at the CCJ in lieu of $25,000 bail; however, his bail was reduced to $10,000 at the preliminary hearing.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Tpr. Robert Southern, the deputy fire marshal with the state police at Punxsutawney, was contacted by the Clearfield barracks on the morning of Dec. 23, 2013. State police at Clearfield requested that Southern contact Fire Chief David Camberg of the Glen Hope Fire Department.

Camberg had responded to the scene of a structure fire at 6369 Glen Hope Blvd. When Southern contacted him, Camberg related a small room and its contents were on fire. Camberg requested that Southern respond and investigate the origin and cause of the fire. Southern, who was in Johnsonburg at the time, advised he would respond to the scene as soon as possible.

That evening, Southern received another call from Camberg. The fire department, he said, responded to another fire at 6369 Glen Hope Blvd. Upon arrival to the scene, Camberg sensed it wasn’t a case of the fire re-kindling but that something wasn’t right. Camberg told Southern he believed the fire had been intentionally set. Southern advised he would respond shortly and asked Camberg to secure the scene until his arrival.

Upon arrival Southern examined the area where the two fires had occurred, determining both had been intentionally set. Southern found the first fire originated in a bedroom near the middle of the structure. It started on the floor level and burned up the wall until it was contained by the fire department.

Southern only found an electrical circuit in the area of the first fire. However, upon examining the electrical circuit, he determined that it wasn’t a factor in the cause of the fire.

So far as the second fire, Southern found it originated in the living room area of the structure. This area was adjacent to the bedroom, where the first fire had occurred within the structure. Southern found it started on or very close to the couch.

Southern only found an electrical circuit on the wall behind the couch. However, he determined that the electricity was disconnected from the structure after the first fire, and it couldn’t have caused the second fire.

As a result, Southern had the scene excavated to determine if the second fire was an incident of the first one re-kindling. Further investigation revealed that the area of the floor and interior wall, which separated the two fires, was intact and didn’t have any fire damage.

In addition, the portion of the ceiling that separated the two fires was intact. It didn’t reveal any fire damage. Based upon this investigation, Southern found that the second fire wasn’t a re-kindling of the first one. Southern found both were intentionally set with each being separate and unconnected in form.

The investigation led Southern to Mostoller. On March 19, Mostoller was interviewed by Southern and another state trooper at the Clearfield barracks. During the interview, Mostoller admitted he intentionally set both fires. Mostoller also told state police he lived next door to the victim at the time of the fires.

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