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Arsonist sentenced to 3 years’ probation

Published: Fri, July 1, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.

Staff report


A two-time convicted arsonist will spend the next three years on probation and be required to perform 100 hours of community service.

Steven Demidovich, 53, of Park Avenue, appeared before Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for sentencing on one count of arson. He pleaded guilty to the charge in May.

Judge Sweeney handed down the probation sentencing and order of community service after a hearing Wednesday morning.

Demidovich was charged in the fire that destroyed a vacant 1900-vintage stone mansion at 259 Park Avenue in 2009. The house, which had been on the south side of Wick Park, collapsed as firefighters battled the 4:51 a.m. blaze.

The loss was estimated at $75,000. There were no injuries. The blaze was one of a series of North Side arsons.

In 2005, Demidovich was charged with aggravated arson, but he pleaded guilty ultimately to a reduced charge of arson. In January 2005, Demidovich set fire to an abandoned church in Petersburg that had been converted to apartments. The building was vacant when the fire occurred.

Judge Sweeney, in that case, sentenced Demidovich to six months, with credit for 212 days served, and placed him on probation for two years.

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