SOUTHINGON, Conn. (WTNH) — The parking lot of Raya Clinic on Queen Street in Southington was empty and quiet Wednesday evening, a far different scene than what was here in early June when someone lit the contents of a dumpster here on fire.
And what some say they find most surprising is the man police accuse of sparking the flames is a firefighter who works in this community.
“I just think of my three children who look up to our emergency personnel who are there to help them and keep them safe so we teach our kids to do smart things and safe things so why would a firefighter do something no safe and risk other things burning?”, one resident said.
Police believe the man responsible is 24-year-old Christopher Newman. He’s charged with reckless burning and criminal mischief and is currently out on $5,000 bond.
Newman, a resident of Bristol, lives in this apartment building, and earlier today we stopped by to see what he had say, but he didn’t come to the door.
A neighbor, however, who saw us looking for him did say he’s known Newman for some time. He was surprised at the charges.
Officials with the Southington Fire Department are also speaking out in a statement sent to News 8. The chief said, “Southington Fire Department is disappointed that a volunteer probationary firefighter has been charged. The Department would like to stress that this incident is in no way representative of the dedicated job that all of our firefighters do every day for the town of Southington.”