Thread: Losers IX

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    Default Losers IX

    Here we go again;

    Updated: 05-10-2004 10:21:37 AM

    3 Shelton, Connecticut Volunteer Firefighters Charged In Arson


    MICHAEL P. MAYKO
    Courtesy of Connecticut Post

    A black cloud looms ominously over the volunteer fire department after three of the city's bravest face charges involving a Saturday morning arson that destroyed a home being built on Soundview Avenue.

    To further darken the cloud, Police Officer Christopher Wooden saw the trio flee in a city EMS rescue vehicle.

    Under arrest are Charles Eye, 20, of Beecher Avenue, a volunteer at Echo Hose Co. and with the EMS; Andrew Evans, 17, of Molnar Drive and Jonathan Belanger, 19, of Theodore Drive, both volunteers at Huntington Hose Co. All three confessed to their roles in the early Saturday morning blaze of the unoccupied house, police said. Freed after posting $25,000 bonds, the three will be arraigned May 24 in Derby Superior Court.

    Fire Chief John Millo said, "I just hope the bad choices of a few individuals does not cast a bad reflection on the entire department.

    "I think the speed in which the investigation was conducted shows how seriously we view an incident like this. Overall, the men and women of the Shelton Fire Department are brave, dedicated individuals," Millo said.

    Shelton EMS Chief Jason Perillo said, "Obviously, we take this extremely serious and I just thank God that no one was injured. We've suspended those involved effective immediately pending further information and will continue to assist the investigation in any way we can."

    Wooden, the Shelton police officer, was on routine patrol when he spotted a huge orange glow in the sky shortly after 3 a.m.

    As he raced in the direction of the fire, he saw the EMS cruiser speeding away in the opposite direction.

    "He thought that was a little bit odd, so he radioed it in," said Detective Sgt. Michael Madden.

    Shelton police investigators then checked radio dispatch and determined the occupants in the vehicle, which was being driven by Eye, did not report the fire. They immediately became suspects, police said.

    Eye had permission to use the vehicle even though he was off duty, Madden said.

    Police said Eye later returned to the scene without Evans and Belanger.

    The Huntington, Echo and White Hills Hose companies responded to the blaze and quickly brought it under control, said James Tortora, the city's fire marshal.

    Police Detective Michael Fusco, along with Madden, Wooden and Detective Ben Trabka participated in the investigation that quickly led to the arrest.

    Within four hours after the blaze began, the trio confessed and was charged.

    "They wanted to be the first to respond," said one of the investigators.

    "Evans and Belanger are charged with arson in the first degree," Madden said. "Eye is charged with conspiracy to commit arson first-degree."

    Combing through the remains, Tortora and Deputy Fire Marshal Robert Rockwell determined the blaze was arson and was set on the first floor.

    The Colonial-style home was framed and roofed but the inside had not yet been Sheet-rocked or wired, according to Trabka, the police arson specialist.

    It is not far from Elizabeth Shelton Elementary school.

    He estimated the damage at about $175,000. The house, being built by Key Development, was being marketed for $619,900. Kenneth Schaible Jr. owns Key Development.

    Police believe gasoline was used to set the blaze in the first floor area of the home.

    Tortora said state police Detective Ken Christensen and his dog trained in sniffing out accelerants were called to the scene. He said evidence was sent to the state police laboratory. There, forensic scientists will determine what was used to start the fire.

    An inspector for the state's attorney's office in Milford also assisted investigators.

    The roughly 200-member volunteer department has been held in high esteem across the state since their performance in extinguishing the March 1, 1975 Sponge Rubber Products arson before it could wipe out the downtown.

    Saturday's arson, however, is not the first time a Shelton volunteer firefighter has been arrested for arson. In the 1990s, Albert Falcioni was sentenced to 20 years in prison, suspended after serving eight, for a string of fires he set in this city.


    When are we going to learn? When are we and the volunteer fire service leadership going to make substantial changes to our system to stop this madness? How many more victims do are we going to have before we actually do something that stops or reduces this madness?

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    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    Makes me proud to say I'm a volunteer (vollie shaking his head as he walks away)
    Lets get back to discussing the importance of light bars

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    Yep..That statement won't start any arguments or anything..
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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    As bad as it is that these three morons started the fire, but how stupid can you get by driving away in your rescue vehicle.

    The only comfort that I get, is that these three represent a very small percentage of the volunteer fire service. It is sad that these stories get the most press.

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    Oh c'mon guys. These 3 numbskulls did society a huge favor. Flaunting their stupidity made it much heasier to put them in prison. Think about it. If they were not such total morons, they would not have been seen fleeing the scene and may not have EVER been caught. Think of all the time and money that would have been spent on a long investigation and drawn out trial. Their incredible stupidity has made it so much easier to lock their worthless miserable hind quarters up in lcokup.
    Last edited by nmfire; 05-11-2004 at 08:54 AM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Default Stupidity of offenders

    nmfire;
    I agree that those who do this generally are those who would most likely get a Darwin award later in life. However this is not the point of my post. If you have read any of my previous "Loser" posts you will see that the reason this activity apalls me is the lack of action by the volunteer fire service leadership within this country.

    I assume that there will be those in the fire service that feel the need to participate in this type of CRIMINAL activity. I can remember reading an article in a local news magazine as part of our local Sunday paper describing the problems facing the volunteer fire service. The author stated that the three major problems facing the volunteer service were in order:

    1. Funding
    2. Available time
    3. Fire fighters who light fires.

    I read this in 1977!

    Can you tell me other than what the States of South Carolina and Delaware have done, what has the volunteer fire service done to stop this? What programs have the VCOS of the IAFC proposed or provided that will help eliminate or control this problem? I CAN'T THINK OF ANY!

    My anger and frustration is with the leadership of the volunteer fire service as much as with the knuckleheads that participate in arson.

    Do you see the irony in your post and your signature?

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    Default Public perception

    VollieFireman posted
    "The only comfort that I get, is that these three represent a very small percentage of the volunteer fire service. It is sad that these stories get the most press."

    Yes, it is true that only a very small minority of volunteers do this. But the public will and does paint us with the same brush.

    Our goal and mission is to save life and property. When knuckleheads like in this story do this type of criminal behavior, many in the public will believe that we are all just beer swilling drunk pyromaniacs waiting for the right opportunity to burn down the town.

    If this happens in your town, expect to get a great deal of negative press, that will take years to reverse! Therefore it is so important to do the things that prevent this from happening. South Carolina's program is so good that it reduced the fire fighter arson cases in that state in one year from 33 to 3!

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    I'm quite sure this happened with a dept near to me...A guy lit a few fires...Everyone always wondered why he was at the hall first no matter what time of day...Eventually they found out it was him lighting all of the fires..He's now banned I beleive from any dept in our province and possibley in Canada...
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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