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Youngstown man sentenced to 8 to 12 years for Girard arson

WARREN — A Youngstown man will spend eight to 12 years in prison after setting fire to a home on South Market Street in Girard.

Austin W. Dunmire, 26, of Dearborn Street, Youngstown, pleaded guilty to two charges of first-degree aggravated arson and one count of second-degree aggravated arson and was sentenced Wednesday by Common Pleas Judge Sean J. O’Brien.

After his release from prison, Dunmire will be labeled an arson offender, which requires him to register in person with authorities when establishing a residency.

O’Brien asked Dunmire, “Why did you set the fire?”

After a delayed response the defendant answered, “I don’t know.”

Outlining the seriousness of Dunmire’s actions just before sentencing, O’Brien said to the defendant, “You almost killed two people and you almost killed yourself.”

“Do you understand that?” the judge asked.

O’Brien cautioned Dunmire that his courtroom already has a capital murder case that could result in the death penalty. Co-defendants Patricia Zarlingo and Brendan Daviduk are awaiting trial for their roles in the January 2023 house fire that claimed the life of 16-year-old Chassidy Broadstone.

Dunmire was arrested after an investigation by the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office revolving around a fire set at a home in the 2100 block of South Market Street in Girard.

On June 21, the Girard Fire Department was called to a structure fire. A sheriff’s report states that fire crews quickly extinguished a bulk of the fire from outside before making their way inside. Crews pulled at least one cat from the residence.

People living in the home told investigators that Dunmire had prior altercations with a woman at the residence.

Just before the fire, the occupants said the woman had spoken with Dunmire on the phone and he threatened to “light their house on fire,” a report states.

The occupants told investigators they had been asleep when their neighbors began shouting and banging on the door to wake them up.

Outside the home, they saw a piano on their back porch that was set on fire expanding across the porch and house.

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