Ohio Investigators Obtain Confession Regarding Arsons

May 13, 2005

State Fire Marshal Stephan Woltz announced recently that State Fire Marshal investigators have reportedly obtained a confession in a series of arsons that struck the Ohio Village of Dillonvale in Jefferson County between 2001 and 2003.

Woltz said 44-year-old Gary Holyak has confessed to responsibility for setting a total of 22 structure and vehicle fires along Rice Street and Liberty Street in Dillonvale in exchange for a grant of immunity in 21 of the cases. Most of the structures were vacant or unoccupied.

Holyak is currently serving a two-year sentence for arson at the state prison in Chillicothe in connection with a fire at his residence on Rice Street in Dillonvale.

Woltz noted that the conclusion to the investigation came during National Arson Awareness Week, a week when federal, state, and local authorities all work together to educate the public about the dangers of arson, the leading cause of fatal fires in the nation.

“This confession comes after months and months of work by our office and local officials. The first fire was set in February 2001,” Woltz said.

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