Police responded to a call about a house fire in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, and arrived to a man sitting in his car, blaring music while watching his house go up in flames.
When police arrived on the scene on December 3, they found Marion Dean Patterson IV, 37 standing outside of his vehicle, watching the flames shoot from his house with the music blaring. He was wearing two bathrobes, golf shoes, fingerless gloves on one hand, and had a golf club in the other hand. The massive fire was battled by 11 fire companies and about 75 firefighters.
Patterson was taken to a patrol car and questioned by authorities in an attempt to gain information about the incident. Police noted he seemed unconcerned about the fire and was cracking jokes. Patterson stated he stated he might have used the stove and he might have used the burner and left it on and he would have to think about it. In reference to his burning home, told police “Beautiful though, ain’t it.”
Patterson was transported to UPMC Altoona, and he submitted to a mental health commitment, according to court documents. During an interview at the facility, Patterson told police he sometimes sleepwalks and has “lucid dreams”. Patterson said he went to bed about 8 p.m. and woke up about 9 p.m. to make food on the stove. According to court documents, he admitted he possibly could have left his golf clubs on the stove.
After an investigation, police were able to determine Patterson placed a golf bag upside down on the stove and turned the burner on. The Fire Marshal discovered the home’s fire alarm system cable was cut and also manually disconnected from the backup battery.
Investigators also discovered Patterson’s bathtub overflowing with water. The water company told authorities they had to turn the water off to the home after noticing an excessive sudden spike in water usage of up to 1,000 gallons per hour.
Patterson is being held without bail in a Blair County Prison for a felony charge of arson. There is a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 11.