Police: Man arrested for New London fires

NEW LONDON – New London police say they arrested a 19-year-old New London man for two fires Tuesday morning.

Charges have been referred to the district attorney for attempted first-degree intentional homicide, arson and damage to property.

Police said they have no other suspects at this point.

The fires happened about an hour apart.

The first fire, at the Copper Shot Bar downtown, was reported around 3:00 a.m.

The Copper Shot Bar in downtown New London is damaged by fire, May 20, 2014.
The Copper Shot Bar in downtown New London is damaged by fire, May 20, 2014. (WLUK/Pauleen Le)

“I open the door and it’s just yellow smoke. You couldn’t even see but it was just a light of smoke. So I just walked my way through the hallway and stuff. It was crazy,” said Quentin Miller.

Miller lives in an apartment above the bar. He said if it wasn’t for a New London police officer banging on his door, he wouldn’t be alive.

“I’m glad we all made it out. That’s a blessing from God,” Miller said.

Firefighters said smoke was coming from the back of the building.

“There were two people on the sidewalk that had jumped from the upstairs window of the apartment and they were being treated here on the sidewalk,” said New London Fire Captain Don Conat.

Glass in an exterior door to a library at New London High School is broken, May 20, 2014.
Glass in an exterior door to a library at New London High School is broken, May 20, 2014. (WLUK/Pauleen Le)

Conat said the fire was put out in a matter of minutes. However, six people were displaced.

“My clothes that I’m still wearing smell like the fire and stuff. I mean, it’s very uncomfortable walking up there,” said Justin Czarnecki.

Just two miles away there was another fire, this time at a playground in front of New London High School.

“Even once we, after the investigation, know what occurred, we’ll never be able to make sense out of this senseless act,” said Kathy Gwidt.

The playground was mainly used for an early childhood program.

The outside door of the school’s library was also damaged.

“It was really pretty minimal,” Gwidt said.

Despite the damage, classes continued and school administrators said they plan to rebuild the playground.

The cost of the damage in both locations is still unclear.

FOX 11 is not naming the suspect at this time until he’s charged.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus