Police: Dover Twp. man with money woes torched his home
- Police said when they got to the scene they could hear thousands of rounds of ammunition exploding.
- Keith Izer turned himself in and confessed, Northern Regional Police said.
- Police said Izer told them he torched his home because he's having financial problems.
A Dover Township man told police he torched his mobile home early Friday morning because his medical bills and taxes have been "piling up" for years, according to charging documents.
Keith Allen Izer "advised he had had enough and stated he did not want to sell the property to someone else," Northern York County Regional Police Cpl. Jeffrey Sierotowicz wrote in those documents.
Dover Township Deputy Fire Chief Brian Widmayer said the mobile home was destroyed, and that heat and flames damaged siding on two adjacent houses. He estimated total structural damage for all three homes at $30,000. The residents of the two adjacent houses weren't displaced, he said.
Izer, 48, of 3051 Claremont Road, is charged with arson, reckless endangerment and felony-grade criminal mischief. He was arraigned Friday at the county's central booking unit and was expected to be taken to York County Prison because he was unable to post his $25,000 bail, according to court records.
Police and Dover Township firefighters were called to Izer's home about 2:30 a.m. Friday, at which point the trailer was fully engulfed in flames, Widmayer said.
Thousands of explosions: Arriving officers could hear thousands of rounds of ammunition exploding inside, according to charging documents, which state Izer "was nowhere to be found."
Firefighters mounted an exterior attack on the trailer and had the blaze under control in five to 10 minutes, Widmayer said.
"We basically extinguished the home and cooled the other homes down," he said. "There wasn't much we could do."
No one was hurt, he said.
The blaze was extinguished within an hour, although crews remained on the scene for several hours doing extensive cleanup, according to Widmayer.
While police officers were trying to track down Izer to tell him his house was burning, they were notified by York County 911 that Izer was at the Turkey Hill Minit Market at 2820 Carlisle Road in Dover Township, charging documents state.
A clerk there called 911 to say Izer was at the store and "wanted to turn himself in after burning his house down," documents state.
Financial woes: Sierotowicz interviewed Izer, who confessed and said he's having financial troubles, according to police.
Izer said he has no health insurance and can't afford any, and that his medical bills have been "piling up," documents state. Izer also said he is several years in arrears on his property tax and that his water, phone and natural gas service had been shut off for nonpayment, according to the documents.
Izer said he crumpled some papers, placed them in the bedroom and living room addition, then used a lighter to start the fire in his bedroom first, then lit the papers in the living room, police said. Izer said he also poured gasoline on his couch, documents state.
Widmayer said because his all-volunteer department always has a shift of on-duty volunteers sleeping at the station, they were able to respond to the fire scene quickly.
"We had 11 people on the road within a minute," he said.
Assisting Dover Township firefighters at the scene were fire crews from Shiloh, Dover Borough, West York and West Manchester Township, he said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.