Arson charge in Hermitage

HERMITAGE, Pa. — An elderly man distraught over a failed real estate deal tried to burn down the property he wanted to buy. Hermitage Police charged John Semmer, 75, of Charles Street, Sharon with arson, risking a catastrophe, recklessly endangering another person, criminal mischief and possessing instruments of crime.

Police arrested Semmer at 8:45 a.m. Thursday after he went to a trailer in the 1800 block of Pine Hollow Boulevard, poured gasoline on the trailer and started a fire. Police said he was upset that a deal to buy the trailer fell through. No one was inside and no one was injured.

Police said some of the skirting on the trailer was damaged by the flames before the fire went out on its own. Semmer was placed in the Mercer County Jail after failing to post $50,000 bond.

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