GANT: Local Man Gets Prison Time for Setting Fire to Own Home

CLEARFIELD, Pa. (GANT) – A Mahaffey man was sentenced to state prison Monday for setting fire to his home.

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Ronald Kevin Zak, 42, pleaded guilty to arson and recklessly endangering another person.

Judge Paul E. Cherry sentenced him to 15 months to four years in state prison. Zak must also pay restitution of over $8,700.

Prior to sentencing, Zak apologized saying he was drunk and on pills and therefore, not himself.

He also said he was sorry for putting the firefighters in harm’s way.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Jan. 10, an investigation began into a fire at a residence on East Main Street in Mahaffey.

The occupants of the home were Zak, his wife and their four adult children, none of whom were home at the time of the fire.

Witnesses reported first seeing the fire in a second-floor window of the home, which was in the process of being purchased by the Zak’s.

Zak’s wife said her husband had been drinking and angry when he left the residence earlier that day. About an hour later, she and the children left the home.

The couple encountered each other later that day in Rural Valley where they argued.

At 8:20 p.m., she received a call from him. He said he was back at the residence in Mahaffey. The first report of the fire came 18 minutes later.

During an interview, Zak admitted to being the last one in the home and said he was smoking near a second-floor bedroom.

He admitted he was intentionally flicking the burning cigarette butts on the floor near a mattress in the hallway. He then left, knowing he should go back.

The home was a complete loss with the entire structure collapsing into the basement, according to the report.

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