Altoona Man Charged for Allegedly Setting Philipsburg House Fire

PHILIPSBURG – A 42-year-old Altoona man, Erick J. Karlson, is facing arson and related charges in connection with a house fire he allegedly set Wednesday on East Presqueisle Street in Philipsburg Borough.

According to state police at Philipsburg, around 3:30 p.m. – 3:40 p.m., a male witness saw Karlson arrive at the house. Karlson had rented and resided at the address in 2016.

The male asked Karlson what he was doing there. Karlson proceeded into the unoccupied residence and allegedly started a fire in the basement for unknown reasons.

Afterward, Karlson left the scene in his vehicle. The male said he went inside the house to find it full of smoke. He extinguished the fire and contacted Centre County 911 to report the incident.

State police said damage occurred to two air conditioning units and indoor/outdoor carpeting in the basement area.

State police located Karlson around 5 p.m. Wednesday at his residence in Blair County. He’s been charged with arson, burglary and related offenses. Karlson was arraigned with his bail set at $25,000.

Karlson was unable to make bail and is incarcerated in the Centre County Correctional Facility. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 19 in Centre County Court.

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