Man charged with setting fire in foreclosed home

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Lancaster police said they took a man into custody after he started a fire in his former home.

Frank Matt, 50, has been charged with felony counts of burglary, arson, and causing or risking a catastrophe for the incident Thursday afternoon, according to city police.

Police said Matt had owned the home in the 500 block of W. Vine Street before losing it to foreclosure.

He was in the house when the new owner arrived to do some work, then came back a short time later and locked out the other man just as he was about to install new door locks, police said.

Responding officers were trying to make contact with Matt when he appeared at a first-floor window and showed a firearm, police said. The officers set up a perimeter and began to smell smoke before Matt walked out of the house.

He was taken into custody as he tried to walk away, police said. A loaded handgun was recovered inside the home.

Firefighters extinguished a fire in the basement, which was found to be arson, police said.

“It's kind of tragic in a way. Here's a person who lived at the house, doesn't live there anymore, and the person who does own it is there to make repairs and make it livable and he's having problems,” Sgt. Bill Hickey said.

“This house has now been destroyed. It's very unfortunate.”

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