Stow man sentenced to 28 years for two arsons

From staff reports Published:

Scott Purk, 50, of Stow, was sentenced Jan. 24 to 28 years in prison for his part in two fires in Stow that were determined to be arsons.

Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Tammy O'Brien sentenced Purk to the maximum sentence allowed for the felony charges of one count of attempted aggravated murder, three counts of aggravated arson, three counts of aggravated arson, one count of insurance fraud and two counts of disrupting public services, and two misdemeanor counts of endangering children.

In December, Purk pleaded guilty to all the charges, according to Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh's office.

The prosecutor said Purk burned down his house on Uniondale Road in Stow in March 2009 in order to collect insurance money.

Stow police at the time said the four residents -- Purk; his wife, Tammy; their daughter, 16; and their son, 12 -- escaped the 3 a.m. fire uninjured. Police called the fire, which destroyed the home, of a "suspicious nature" and began an investigation.

The prosecutor said Purk then set fire to a duplex on Berger Avenue in Stow in March 2010. The resident of the duplex was sleeping when the fire started, but she was able to escape unharmed.

"It is believed that the second fire was set to make it appear that a serial arsonist was in that neighborhood to throw suspicion off of Mr. Purk," Stow Police Det. Ken Mifflin told the Stow Sentry at the time. "It is our belief that the first fire was set to get out of debt."

Both Scott and Tammy Purk were indicted and arrested in September 2011.

Tammy Purk was initially charged with attempted aggravated murder, aggravated arson, insurance fraud, disrupting public services and endangering children.

In December 2012, she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing justice and all other charges were dismissed. She was sentenced to six months in jail, which were suspended, and was placed on one year probation.

The Stow Police Department spent two years investigating these crimes with assistance from the Stow and Cuyahoga Falls Fire Departments, according to the prosecutor's office.

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