A Milford man was arrested after police said he set a fire in Ansonia on Monday afternoon.
Steven Weidler was charged with first-degree arson and reckless endangerment.
The arrest of Weidler came after a fire was reported at 3 Marshal Ln. around 4 p.m. Upon arrival, firefighters reported “heavy smoke and flames” coming from the rear of the building.
When firefighters forced their way inside the building, there was “a heavy black smoke condition.”
The fire was knocked down and firefighters searched the building. Firefighters said they “detected a strong odor of diesel fuel or home heating oil.” They also noted that there were “slippery, oily conditions on the floor in several areas of the residence.”
Fire officials said there were four spots were the fire started in the home. Also, firefighters located 5-gallon bucket lying in a bedroom, “which contained a reddish colored liquid that looked and smelled like home heating oil.”
Firefighters also said they found “an oil tank in the garage area with an apparent hole drilled into the tank and a power drill near the tank.” There was home heating oil in the tank, police said.
There were no reported injuries reported in the house fire.
Police said a man and woman were spotted in the driveway of 3 Marshal Ln. and they were told to get away while firefighters were fighting the fire.
Eyewitnesses told police that Weidler was inside the home alone. They said they saw oil pouring out of the tank in the garage. The eyewitnesses also said they smelled oil and saw it all over the kitchen floor, refrigerator, counter tops and kitchen sink.
"I was sick to my stomach, never expected anything like that to happen, especially this close," said Joseph Moncheski, who lives next door to the home that was set on fire.
Weidler told an eyewitness that “he spilled oil and told them to leave the house.” He said his dog was on the loose and Eyewitness spotted the dog as Weidler was coming out of the home at 3 Marshal Ln. As Weidler was coming out of the home, there was smoke billowing out of the home.
Officers located Weidler walking down the street in Woodbridge. They said that they could “smell a strong petroleum base product emanating from him.” At that time, Weidler was arrested by police.
The bond for Weidler was set at $100,000. He is expected to be arraigned at Derby Superior Court on Tuesday.
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