Woodstock man pleads not guilty to allegations he set fire to a group home kitchen

30-year-old is accused of intentionally setting a fire in a Woodstock group home

Corey F. Liszkiewicz

A Woodstock man pleaded not guilty to charges alleging that he intentionally started a fire last month in the kitchen of a group home, court records show.

Corey F. Liszkiewicz, 30, of Woodstock, was indicted Thursday on aggravated arson, residential arson and criminal damage to property. He pleaded not guilty to all charges on Friday.

Liszkiewicz was accused of setting the fire on Nov. 14 despite knowing people were in the home, located in the 400 block of West Jackson Street in Woodstock, according to the complaint.

The fire damaged the property of Pioneer Center for Human Services, including a wall, window and curtain, in excess of $500 but less than $10,000, according to the indictment.

The Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded to an activated fire alarm at the group home, and upon arrival, found a cooking appliance and drapes that had been on fire, Deputy Fire Chief Brendan Parker said. The fire was out before firefighters arrived.

The damage was “minor,” Pioneer Center CEO Frank Samuel said on Monday.

No residents at the group home – which serves people needing behavioral health services – were displaced and use of the kitchen was back to normal quickly, he said.

There were no injuries, Parker said.

Pioneer Center is a private nonprofit organization that provides behavioral health services as well as programs for people with developmental disabilities and homeless shelter needs in McHenry County. It is the only provider of behavioral health group homes in McHenry County, Samuel said.

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