After telling Fair Lawn police that someone had threatened to burn down his house, a convicted arsonist set the fire himself, for which he was charged with first-degree attempted murder, among other counts, and ordered held on $1 million bail, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said today.
Brian Marrone, 28, called Fair Lawn police Friday and “reported that an unidentified male had called him and threatened to harm him and set fire to the residence,” Molinelli said.
At 2:50 p.m., emergency responders rushed to the Legion Place home, where, the prosecutor said, they found “a rear corner of the exterior of the house fully engulfed in flames.
“The fire intensified and extended into an attic space and the roof rafters before it was extinguished,” Molinelli said, adding that, fortunately, the only person inside — Marrone’s brother — got out unharmed.
Investigators from the Molinelli’s Arson Squad and the Fair Lawn Police Department discovered that someone had pried up a piece of aluminum siding to set the blaze in the wood and insulation beneath it.
Marrone became an immediate target, given that he served nearly 20 months in state prison for setting fire to the restroom at the Saddle Brook diner, where he worked as a waiter. He was released a year ago this month.
He also has convictions for trying to set fire to the loading dock when he worked at the Saddle Brook Wal-Mart, as well as for breaking into his uncle’s house. Two months ago, police charged him in connection with the thefts and subsequent sales of auto parts, tools and other items in three towns — Elmwood Park, Fair Lawn, and Saddle Brook.
Marrone is charged in this case with attempted murder, aggravated arson, arson and failure to report a fire.
Molinelli credited Fair Lawn police, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and the Fair Lawn Volunteer Fire Department for responding quickly and making the case.
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