Listen Live

JOHNSONBURG, Pa. – A Pennsylvania man was “curious and bored” so he set fire to an abandoned hotel last week, investigators said.

>> Read more trending news

Johnsonburg police said Andrew Higdon set fire to the three-story Johnsonburg Hotel around 3 p.m. on Dec. 30, WJAC reported.

Firefighters spent several hours working to put out the fire. The roof collapsed and falling debris damaged a nearby auto garage. Police reported seeing smoke billowing from the top floors but none was coming from the lower ones.

As crews worked to put out the flames, Higdon approached police from the nearby mechanic garage. He gave investigators a detailed description of a man he saw leave the hotel before the fire started. Police said the description was too detailed, especially if Higdon were as far away as he said he was.

The owners of the garage told police Higdon was drinking alcohol and only came over after the fire started.

Higdon never left the scene of the fire and appeared to be nervous, investigators said. When officers asked him about holes in his story he admitted to setting the fire. He later told investigators that he had been drinking that day then went into the hotel and lit curtains and mattresses on fire, WJAC reported.

He told police he made sure no one was in the building before setting the fire. He also tried to call 911 to cover his tracks, investigators said.

One of the owners of the hotel said she had not been there in at least three years. The owners also said the property was not insured. It had been listed on a judicial sale last year but did not sell. It is going to the repository this year, police said.

Higdon was arrested and charged with arson, reckless burning, risking catastrophe, burglary and criminal trespassing, police said. He was being held in jail on $50,000 bail.

Pennsylvania man was 'curious and bored' when he set fire to abandoned hotel, police say

FILE PHOTO: A Pennsylvania man was "curious and bored" so he set fire to an abandoned hotel last week, investigators said.