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Police: Son lit Carbon house on fire; court papers say he took cat, bags and left

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    Firefighters are on scene of an arson fire on Third Street in Weatherly on Sunday. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published December 10. 2019 11:01AM


A Beaver Meadows man has been charged with arson after police say he set fire Sunday morning to the Third Street home he shared with his mother in the borough.

Corey Cyril Ciculya, 47, faces three arson-related counts and one count each of criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

Police responded to the home just after 7 a.m., when Ciculya’s mother said she saw her son in the kitchen around 2 a.m. with several luggage bags packed.

The two had an argument and around 7 a.m., the mother’s dog woke her up with its barking. Ciculya, who has gotten his bags and a cat together, told her, “Your house is on fire,” before leaving the residence, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

According to Ciculya’s mother, he had a history of domestic violence against her and she had gotten a protection from abuse order against him several weeks prior after he threatened to burn the house down.

A fire marshal determined the blaze started in an exterior stairwell leading to the basement. There was heavy charring to the wood and the top part of the enclosure was burned away.

After the fire marshal made an arson ruling, police interviewed Ciculya, who said he had planned to move out of the residence and packed up his belongings a day or two before the fire.

He denied involvement with the fire and said his mother planned it in order to “get” him. Ciculya also gave police a false two-page written statement blaming his mother for the incident.

In the statement, he said his mother and her friend “David” had set the fire to destroy evidence of abusive altercations recorded on electronic devices.

When police confronted with Ciculya about inconsistencies in his story, he admitted to spraying chemicals through a hole in the wall of his bedroom into the stairwell of the basement and igniting a flame in the hole with a lighter.

State police at Hazleton said they had been called to the home around 11 times since January 2017 for various domestic violence, mental health incidents and welfare checks.

Ciculya is in Carbon County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 18 at 10 a.m.


Mental illness is not addressed well at all in the state of Pennsylvania. I know a woman whose son has threatened to kill her. She has a panic button in her bedroom, that calls the police. Her son lives in a detached garage on her property, because there is no facility other than jail for him to stay. If he is on medication and doesn't drink, he is ok. But he has had lapses, and come close to doing her great harm. Thankfully the mother in this case got out unharmed.

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