Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ex-volunteer firefighter charged in fatal NY fire

Police on Long Island say a former volunteer firefighter has been arrested in connection with a fire that killed a mother and her three children.

Police say 19-year-old Caleb Lacey of Lawrence was charged with first degree arson and four counts of second-degree murder.

Police say Lacey, who was arrested on Friday, was a volunteer member of the Lawrence/Cedarhurst Fire Department. Police did not give a motive.

Morena Vanegas and daughters Andrea and Susanna and son Saul Preza died inside their second-floor apartment in North Lawrence on Feb. 19. Authorities say the fire started in a stairwell, the main escape route from the building.

Lacey will be arraigned Saturday in First District Court in Hempstead.

A police spokesman did not know if Lacey had a lawyer.

(This version CORRECTS corrects spelling of Lacey).)