Delco fire & standoff: Man on roof with cinder block tied around neck in custody

Corey Davis Image
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Man set own home on fire, tied cinder block to neck: Police
A standoff came to an end in Folcroft, Delaware County after five hours.

FOLCROFT, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- An hourslong standoff in Delaware County where a man on a roof with a cinder block tied around his neck doused himself in gasoline as his home burned came to an end early Tuesday morning, police said.

He was taken into custody around 3 a.m. First responders wheeled the man away after a nearly 5-hourlong standoff in the area of Delmar Drive and Windsor Circle in Folcroft.

The man is accused of setting his home on fire around 10 p.m. Monday, as neighbors looked on in horror.

Police said he was seen on the roof of his own home, as it burned, with a rope and cinder block tied around his neck.

He could be heard swearing while pacing back and forth and pouring gasoline all over himself.

Folcroft Police Chief Bill Bair said the man is possibly in his mid 30's.

Bair said the incident started as a fire call.

A neighbor grabbed a water hose and said he managed to put the fire out with the help of an officer before firefighters arrived.

Soon after, officers realized someone was on the roof and another fire was started.

Folcrof police said the man wanted to kill himself.

Officers laid an airbag on the ground in case he decided to jump. Bair said the SWAT unit managed to use bean bag rounds to knock the man down after hours of negotiating.

Action News is told the man's home is the only one that burned, but at least two others suffered smoke damage. The families that live in those homes were able to go back.

Bair said firefighters had to deal with trying to lower high levels of carbon monoxide in neighboring homes because of the smoke after the fire.

A Folcroft firefighter suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze.

Chief Bair said a slew of charges, including arson, are pending against the man who was on the roof.

The man will undergo a mental evaluation, Bair said.

Officials said they are aware of a road rage incident in the neighborhood last week involving the man and another person who were arguing back and forth while driving.

The investigation continues.