Police sirens

A Johnstown man pleaded guilty on Monday to setting fire to a mattress near a trailer, damaging the structure and forcing a family member who lived there to flee, authorities said.

Brandon Joseph Pileski, 28, of the 100 block of Benshoff Street, pleaded guilty to a summary charge of disorderly conduct during a preliminary hearing before District Judge Mary Ann Zanghi, of Vinco.

According to a criminal complaint filed by East Taylor Township police, Pileski set fire to a mattress outside of the trailer in the 1200 block of Bartlett Street on July 8.

The flames were high and the heat intense enough to damage the siding and partly melt the inside blinds, the complaint said.

The owner told police that he was watching television when he noticed a "large fire" on the side of his trailer and ran outside. The man said that he thought the trailer was on fire and he could have been "burned alive."

Pileski reportedly told police that he was "allowed" to start the fire but denied causing any damage. When police asked him if he had a water supply to contain the fire, Pileski said he did not have a hose or a water supply, the complaint said.

East Taylor Township firefighters extinguished the burning embers.

The district attorney's office withdrew arson and reckless endangerment charges.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.

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