SYKESVILLE — A Sykesville man is being charged with aggravated arson for allegedly setting fire to the same building on four separate occasions, Pennsylvania State Police announced Thursday. Charges of arson endangering other persons, causing or risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief, recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct have also been filed with Magisterial District Court Judge Patrick Ford.
According to a press release, Steven M. Rode confessed on Jan. 22 to setting fires at Fayette Resources of DuBois, where he is employed, on three separate nights this month. Fayette Resources, according to its website, is a social service organization that serves disabled persons.
The release states that an electrical issue and fire occurred at the facility on Jan. 14 that did not require a department response, though the Sandy Township Fire Department did respond to and extinguish another fire that caused minimal damage in the facility’s laundry room the following evening.
Two further fires occurred in the laundry room the night of Jan. 21, according to the release. The first occurred in an operating clothes dryer and resulted in the evacuation of the building.
It was extinguished, but another occurred later that evening that allegedly involved clothing removed from a dryer during the earlier fire.
Rode and one other employee, according to the release, were both on duty the nights of each fire. Rode confessed during an interview conducted at the scene of the third fire to setting all three, according to the release.
The investigation is continuing.
No further details were available by the end of the day Thursday. The Courier-Express could not obtain an affidavit because the Magistrate’s office had closed for the day by the time the press release was issued.