Penn. Man Faces Jail Term for Setting House Fire for Insurance

A western Pennsylvania man faces up to 16 years in prison when he’s sentenced in April for setting his house on fire for the insurance money.

Forty-four-year-old John Albert Picardi, of Kittanning, acknowledged putting a sheet over a basement heater in hopes it would catch fire on Feb. 25, 2010.

Fire investigators originally blamed the fire on the supposedly faulty heater and ruled it accidental, but their investigation was reopened after Picardi’s live-in girlfriend told police he purposely put the sheet on the heater in hopes of collecting insurance money. The couple and their two children weren’t home when the fire started.

Picardi told an Armstrong County judge on Jan. 4 that he’s making arrangements to repay the money to Erie Insurance Co. and that he regrets setting the fire.