Bail denied after man allegedly tries to burn down Chambersburg home with two people inside

07 February 2024- Bail has been denied for a Chambersburg man after he allegedly sets fire to a home in the borough amounting to over $5,000 in damages. Nelson Enrique Rodriguez is charged with two counts of felony attempted homicide, two felony counts of aggravated arson, two felony counts of arson with danger of death or bodily injury, felony risking catastrophe, two misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment, and felony criminal mischief. Rodriguez was denied bail by MDJ Manns due to “no bail conditions available to ensure the safety of the victims and the community”.

Just before 10:30am on December 27th, 2023, Chambersburg PD and CFD were dispatched to a home on S Third Street for a house fire. Arriving quickly, CFD extinguished an extensive lawn mower fire that was beside a house. This fire was so large that it caused the residence nearby to catch on fire. Initially, officers were able to talk to a witness that allegedly saw a man banging on the door of the home prior to going to the back. The fire started shortly after this interaction.

Two people were inside the home at the time of the fire, including one person who was in the shower.

CFD were not able to determine the cause of the fire but knew that it started from the lawn mower. Significant damage was done to the mower and the home, which was estimated to be in excess of $5,000.

Borough security camera footage was collected, which reportedly showed three people entering the area around the home before ultimately exiting the backyard through a hole in the fence. Those same three people were found at the residence for multiple hours prior to the fire, as well. Right before the fire started, video showed the people walking from the front of the home to the back.

Another interview was conducted with a woman that allegedly confirmed she was on the video footage with Rodriguez. She did, however, reportedly confirm that she was present but did not set the fire. Rodriguez, she said, moved the lawnmower to the side of the home prior to starting the fire due to what she called a “beef” over money. That woman allegedly said that Rodriguez dropped something inside of the lawnmower’s cap, which started the fire. They then fled through streets to her home.

Interviews conducted after the incident reportedly yielded the name of Nelson Rodriguez as being involved in the incident. He was identified on video, according to Chambersburg PD.

Nelson Rodriguez was denied bail and is awaiting a February 13th preliminary hearing.

Sources: Incident No.: C202314670, Docket Number: MJ-39201-CR-0000009-2024