On Wednesday 28 February 2018 at approximately 1251 hrs. Lancaster Bureau of Fire responded to an address on the 200 blk. Elm St. for a residential fire. Occupants of the building saw smoke conditions and tracked it to an apartment on the 1st floor. Contact was made by neighbors. The occupant of the apartment in question told others that he had everything under control, in spite of the fact that smoke was reported rolling out of his apartment door. A resident called 911 and the Bureau of Fire responded. Officers from Platoon C responded to assist with traffic and crowd control.
The resident had left the apartment in question when the first members of the Bureau of Fire arrived. He was found at the intersection of College Ave. and W. Walnut St. He was identified as Anthony Gargano M/39. Gargano stated that he knew that there had been a fire in his apartment but that he had extinguished it before leaving. Gargano was taken into custody by Off. Shane Douglas-Snyder. Gargano was found to be in possession of a quantity of suspected Heroin.
Gargano was transported to the Lancaster Bureau of Police station. Det. Toby Hickey and Det. Gary Lowe coordinated their efforts with PSP Fire Marshall Trooper Gehman. Gargano gave varying accounts of how the fire started. It was determined that the fire had been intentionally set inside an apartment by the resident of that unit, the only person present inside that apartment had been Gargano.
As a result of this incident and subsequent investigation, Det. Toby Hickey filed a criminal complaint against Gargano before MDJ Bruce Roth charging him with Arson, Risking or Causing a Catastrophe, Recklessly Endangering Another Person and Possession of a Controlled Substance (Heroin). Garagno was later arraigned and committed to LCP in lieu of $25,000 bail.
All persons accused of a crime are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court.