Two Charged with Murder in Alleged Arson-for-Profit in Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Two men face second-degree murder charges for their roles in an alleged arson-for-profit that turned deadly.

Brett Sweeting Jr., 26, died in a fire in a home on Roosevelt Street in Scranton in June.

Investigators said the fire was a case of arson.

Police believe the owner of the home, Chad Kenowski, 49, also known as Chad Clark, conspired with Sweeting to burn the house down to collect insurance money.

The plot was between three men -- the alleged arsonist is Brett Sweeting Jr.

Police say Sweeting died while setting the house on fire in some kind of an explosion.

"The gasoline vapors probably mixed with oxygen, and there was an explosion inside the residence," said Scranton Police Inspector Martin Monahan.

The homeowner was a friend of Sweeting's -- Chad Kenowski, also known as Chad Clark. He's now charged with Sweeting's murder.

Kenowski was arraigned Tuesday at Scranton Police Headquarters.

According to court papers, Kenowski and Sweeting conspired to burn the house down in hopes of collecting almost $800,000 in insurance money.

That's when Sweeting got his father involved. Brett Sweeting Sr. was charged with his son's murder last month. The details of his arrest were sealed until this week.

According to court papers, the father was there when Sweeting Jr. was setting the fire. Cell phone records show Sweeting called his dad several times from inside.

Still, at some point when the fire is burning and his son is still inside, Sweeting Sr. drives away.

"This was a case of woven deception and greed amongst, even a father and a son," said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano.

"You see movies and TV shows, you know, these guys probably met and talked about it, and did this terrible crime, and it's like, it's odd this happened here, this is a quiet neighborhood," neighbor Jon Knowles said. "We're going to hear a lot about the dad and the owner, but really, a kid died, and that's what's getting lost in the whole story."

Kenowski is charged with second-degree murder, arson, and insurance fraud.

Chad Kenowski and Brett Sweeting Sr. are locked up in Lackawanna County.

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