Second Suspect Charged In Shelton Firehouse Arson

Shelton police charged a second suspect Monday with setting a fire in the back of a pickup truck outside the firehouse last month.

The arrest of 45-year-old Newtown resident Gregory Bomba, a past captain of the Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. 1, comes four days after the first suspect, William Tortora, was charged in the case.

In a prepared statement, Detective Christopher Nugent said Bomba surrendered to police Monday after detectives obtained a warrant charging him with second-degree arson, second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal mischief, and three counts of conspiracy.

Bomba was held on $250,000 bond to be arraigned at Superior Court in Derby.

After Bomba appeared in court his bond was reduced to $100,000, according to an online court database Tuesday. The same database lists Bomba as still being in custody, though there is no record of that in the state’s publicly-searchable inmate database.

He is scheduled to appear in court again March 13.

The fire happened Feb. 3 in the rear parking lot of Echo Hose Hook & Ladder Co. 1 at 379 Coram Ave. as a “past captains dinner” took place inside the firehouse.

“The investigation revealed that the fire was intentionally started in the rear of a pickup truck which was parked abutting the firehouse,” Nugent said. “Detectives investigated the incident by identifying individuals involved, interviewing several members of the Shelton Fire Department, as well as individuals that were present at the past captains dinner that evening.”

The Valley Indy first reported the incident Feb. 20. Surveillance video depicting the fire was sent to the Valley Indy anonymously. Click play on the video to watch.

Tortora, the owner of the truck in which the fire was set, was arraigned Friday. Judge Peter Brown ordered him held on $250,000 bond and continued the case to March 13, according to court records.

According to an arrest warrant written by Detective Richard Bango, Shelton Fire Department Chief Fran Jones reported the incident to police Feb. 13.

Detectives went to the firehouse, where a fire department captain showed police the surveillance video and identified Tortora and Bomba as having been involved with starting the fire.

Tortora and Bomb were intoxicated at the time, the fire captain said.

Bango recognized Tortora and Bomba in the video, the warrant says, as well as Tortora’s pickup truck.

About five minutes into the video, a firefighter identified as Tom DeMarco tries to put the fire out using a fire extinguisher.

The warrant notes that the flames charred the door of the firehouse and were about 30 yards away from the Pierpont building, which houses businesses and apartments.

The fire caused an estimated $450 in damages to the building.

The warrant says Bomba admitted to starting the fire during an interview with police, stating that he did so “just kidding around.”

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