Former police officer accused of intentionally setting his Orange home on fire

Police say 65-year-old Thomas McMahon intentionally set his home on fire (Photo: Orange police)

ORANGE, Conn. (WTNH) — ORANGE- Neighbors said a retired Bridgeport police officer was picked up by police for arson.

Orange police said Thomas McMahon, 65, used lighter fluid to set his own home on fire while his wife, Eileen, was inside.

“I never would have suspected it,” said Daniel Staffieri.

“I really don’t believe it. He’s a very upstanding guy,” said neighbor, Brian Ahern.

Orange police said around 11pm on October 27th, McMahon called 911 saying his house was burning on Golf Road. The Staffieri’s live next door; Daniel’s brother said he spoke to McMahon during the ordeal.

Staffieri said, “He (his brother) was actually talking to the owner (McMahon) of the house and he was like ‘oh I wonder how that started and he says ‘I don’t know’.”

“My brother acted like the guy was pretty much bewildered why his house is burning down.”

Detectives said they found lighter fluid in the garage and when they questioned McMahon he told police he had no idea where the lighter fluid came from or how the fire started.

“If they got him, they got him. They must have some evidence,” said Staffieri.

Detectives said they found out McMahon bought the lighter fluid earlier that day. Neighbors said he’s done some security work recently and has tried to sell this home for the past couple of years.

Staffieri said, “My father was always suspicious, but not me, I just take people for their value.”

McMahon is out on a $50,000 bond and is facing arson and falsifying a statement to police. He’s due in court on January 5, 2015.

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