A police investigation is underway into a video that depicts several people setting a fire in the bed of a pickup truck parked outside a Shelton firehouse.
A copy of the seven-and-a-half-minute video was sent to the Valley Indy anonymously.
State Rep. Ben McGorty, who also serves as vice chairman of the city’s Board of Fire Commissioners, confirmed the video’s authenticity.
“I guess the tape is out there in a lot of places,” he said.
McGorty was a deputy fire marshal in Shelton prior to being elected to state office.
He said the video was recorded by a surveillance camera at the back of the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder firehouse on Coram Avenue as members celebrated their annual “Past Captain’s Dinner” Feb. 3.
Click the play button above to watch.
Police said they’re looking into the matter, but would not offer further comment.
“We have an open investigation,” Shelton Police Detective Richard Bango said.
No charges have been filed.
The video begins at 9 p.m., and shows three people smoking in the back lot of the firehouse.
About 10 seconds in, someone standing at the back of the truck appears to try to set fire to material in the bed of the truck.
About 15 seconds later another person joins in the effort.
Around the one-minute mark visible flames and smoke begin to appear at the back of the truck.
The people standing around the truck move around what look like cardboard boxes inside as the flames grow.
About two and half minutes in someone removes some of the flaming material from the truck’s bed.
A minute later, a person takes another flaming box and walks it to the front of the truck before stomping on it several times.
On the other side of the truck a person appears to stoke the flames using a rake.
The smoldering material at the front of the truck reignites and someone kicks it a few feet, to directly in front of the vehicle.
Around the five-minute mark someone uses an extinguisher to put out the flames.
About a minute later a person gets in the truck and drives it away as it appears another person standing in the lot records video on a cell phone.
Bango said more information will be released upon the completion of the investigation.
He declined to say specifically how the incident was reported to police.
McGorty said a copy of the recording was given to Shelton Fire Department Chief Fran Jones, who brought it to the attention of Mayor Mark Lauretti.
“He is investigating it and gave it to the mayor,” McGorty said. “The mayor turned it over to (Police Chief) Shawn Sequeira, and they’re investigating it.”
The Valley Indy left messages Tuesday for Lauretti and the fire chief, as well as with Public Safety Director Michael Maglione, and Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. 1 Captain Mike Plavcan.
The city’s fire marshal, James Tortora, said the incident wasn’t reported to him.
“My office is not conducting any investigation regarding this incident,” Tortora said in an email. “It has not been reported to us.”
McGorty said he believes he knows some of the people depicted on the video.
He declined to say more, citing the police probe and the fact that the fire commissioners might be called to hear appeals of any discipline handed down in connection with the incident.
“It’s an open investigation and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize anything,” he said. “I’m aware of it. It’s been brought to our attention but we have no real comment yet while it’s an open investigation.”
Anyone with information should call police at 203-924-1544.