HAZLETON, Pa. -- On March 9th, , The Hazleton City Fire Department was dispatched to 104 East Mine Street for a working structure fire.
At the scene, it was discovered that the victim, later identified, as Gordon Wanser, died as a result of the fire.
The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshall, US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Luzerne County District Attorney's Office and Hazleton City Police Detectives conducted an intensive investigation into the cause and manner of the fire.
Based on the witnesses statements, investigative-reconstructive test burns later conducted at the scene and other evidence it was determined the fire was not accidental and an intentionally set fire.
Based upon that finding an autopsy conducted by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Gary Ross determined the cause of death of Gordon Wanser was carbon Monoxide Poisoning due to smoke inhalation.
The Luzerne County District Attorney's Office along with investigators issued arrest warrants for Thomas McQueen and Alice Reimiller, (AKA Alice OdOnnell).
The charges are Murder 2nd degree, Arson Endangering Persons, Arson, Aggravated Arson and other related charges.
McQueen and Reimiller were taken into custody by the Hazleton City Patrol Officers today and will appear before Magistrate Joseph Zola.
Both will be committed to LCCF without bail due to the nature of the charges.
Statement by Police Chief, Jerry Speziale:
"The collaboration, intensive investigation and technical expertise displayed by Hazleton Police, Fire Departments, ATF, State Fire Marshall and Luzerne County District Attorney's Office brought this investigation to a successful conclusion. "