Ephrata man convicted of setting fire to his own home in 2018

LANCASTER COUNTY — A 52-year-old Ephrata man was convicted last week of setting fire to his own house in 2018, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

Michael T. Matthews was found guilty of three felonies, including aggravated arson, for setting fire to his Hoover Drive home while a female relative was inside.

The incident occurred on May 14, 2018, prosecutors say.

It took a Lancaster County jury about an hour to reach a verdict after a two-day trial, according to prosecutors. Matthews will be sentenced in October.

According to evidence presented at trial, Matthews had to be rescued from a bedroom in the home. The relative escaped on her own. Matthews went inside the burning home and locked the door when firefighters arrived, according to testimony.

After being rescued from the home, Matthews was hospitalized and arrested after his release.

The Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal testified the fire was set intentionally.

One firefighter was treated for injuries at the scene, according to testimony.

The fire and smoke caused extensive damages and the home was condemned.

Matthews was also convicted of arson and risking a catastrophe.

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