Man to prison in fire leading to chief's death

May 13, 2009 5:51:28 AM PDT
A western Pennsylvania man will spend six to 12 years in prison for causing a fire chief's fatal heart attack by alerting the chief to a tavern fire the man had just set.

Fifty-year-year-old Rodger Matthews, of Elizabeth, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, arson and other charges in the Sept. 12, 2007 fire.

Police say Matthews knocked on Elizabeth Fire Chief Leonard Bailey Jr.'s door and the 56-year-old Bailey was stricken as he ran to the fire.

Police say Matthews set fire to the bar to destroy his fingerprints from a burglary he committed there.

The fire chief's late father, Leonard Bailey Sr., once owned the tavern about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Follow Action News on Twitter

Get Action News on your website

Follow Action News on Facebook

Click here to get the latest Philadelphia news and headlines from across the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.


Load Comments