Police: Man set fire in abandoned Hanover house

Christopher Dornblaser
  • Police say a Hanover man admitted to setting an abandoned home on fire last month.
  • Andrew Pinda, 45, allegedly also broke into a Hanover home and stayed for a few days.
  • Pinda remains in York County Prison in lieu of $260,000 bail.

A Hanover man remains in York County Prison after police say he admitted to setting an abandoned home on fire last month.

Andrew Pinda

Andrew Maurice Pinda, 45, of 335 Second Ave., is charged with arson, criminal mischief and criminal trespassing, according to charging documents. Additionally, Pinda has been charged with criminal trespassing and criminal mischief in a separate case, online court records state.

The fire: About 11 p.m. Nov. 26, an abandoned home at 651 Broadway caught fire. During the fire, a firefighter fell through the floor of the house, but he was ultimately found to be OK. No injuries were reported.

According to police, the damage to the home was estimated at $75,000. Police determined it was arson the following day.

According to charging documents, Hanover Borough Police received a call from an acquaintance of Pinda, who told police that Pinda admitted to him that he set the fire to prove that "no one was real" and that "police weren't real."

On Dec. 13, police spoke to Pinda at his home, and Pinda admitted to setting the fire, according to police. He said he knew the place was abandoned, and he entered the home through an unsecured rear door, according to charging documents. Pinda said he lit the fire using a paper and lighter to keep warm, documents allege.

He did not intend for the home to catch fire, according to police. Pinda told police he was the only one in the home at the time, and he said he did not know where he went after the fire, charging documents state.

Firefighter falls through floor of vacant Hanover home

Trespassing: According to police, Pinda also broke into a residence in the 100 block of Eichelberger Street.

Police say the resident of the home, who was gone between Nov. 24 and Nov. 30, came back and found items out of place as well as a broken window pane. A massage pillow and towel were stuffed into the window frame opening, police said.

The man also found food and drink had been consumed and that his bed had been slept in, according to charging documents. The man told police it might have been Pinda, whom he had known from church, according to documents.

Firefighters deal with a fire at 651 Broadway in Hanover on Saturday night.

On Dec. 13, Pinda admitted to breaking into the residence, documents state. He said he broke into the home to stay warm and remained there for a few days without permission, documents state.

Police say the total damage amount for Pinda's alleged stay was $600. Charging documents do not state when or how long Pinda had allegedly stayed at the home.

Pinda's charges were filed Friday, and he was arrested Wednesday. He was arraigned on the charges that morning in front of District Judge Dwayne Dubs and remanded to York County Prison in lieu of $260,000 bail.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Jan. 4 at Dubs' office.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.