Clerk helped police in making arrest in Waterbury factory fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Clerk helped police in making arrest in Waterbury factory fire

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Timothy Carlson was arrested amid the investigation into a Waterbury factory fire (iwitness/Waterbury police) Timothy Carlson was arrested amid the investigation into a Waterbury factory fire (iwitness/Waterbury police)
WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

A gas station clerk in Waterbury made a frantic 911 call on New Year’s Eve when a man came into her store smelling like smoke.

She suspected he had something to do with a fire that happened nearby at a vacant factory, after a friend had shown her video of the fire.

"It's our civic duty to call,” said Jessica Dumonski, who called police.

Days later, 58-year-old Timothy Carlson, was accused of setting the fire at the old Risdon Manufacturing building on South Main Street.

Carlson was arrested on Tuesday and is facing several charges, including first-degree arson, reckless endangerment, and trespassing.

According to court documents, which contain Carlson’s written statement to police, he claims he slipped into the vacant factory to keep warm and rest on a cold night. 

Documents show Carlson said "I'm not sure how long I was sleeping but I remember being awoken by the sound and smell of fire. I remember hearing cracking and feeling the heat of the fire."

Dumonski said she didn’t think twice, once she saw a friend’s video of the fire.

“I just had to call” police, Dumonski said.

To police, these tips are invaluable.

"It makes a great deal of a difference in the investigations that we conduct,” said Waterbury Deputy Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo.

He said this is an active and ongoing investigation, and police are working closely with fire marshals as they sift through the evidence.

They'll also be looking closely at other recent, suspicious fires to see if there's any connection.

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