YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Union City man set eight fires the last four years at two Manhattan hotels where he worked as a security officer in order to temporarily close the businesses and kick back in a comped room with free alcohol, the FDNY said today.
Mariano Barbosa, Jr., 30, was arrested by city fire marshals yesterday and charged him with setting the fires from February 2009 to September 2013 at the Yotel Hotel on 10th Avenue near Times Square and the Soho Grand Hotel on West Broadway.
Barbosa most recently worked as director of security at the Yotel after leaving his job as a security officer at the Soho Grand.
“It’s disturbing that an individual charged with the safety of hotel occupants would callously endanger their lives – and the lives of firefighters – for personal gain,” said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. “I commend the marshals for their extensive investigative work that led to this arrest.”
Authorities said Barbosa deliberately set the garbage fires in hallways, stairwells and in front of exit doors late at night or early in the morning to keep occupants from getting out and firefighters from getting in. Each fire was extinguished quickly, they said.
Barbosa’s goal, they said, was to get the hotels to close so that he could have a working vacation of sorts.
Yotel Hotel fires:
Sept. 8, 2013, 5:09 a.m. 18th & 22nd flrs.
Feb. 22, 2013, 11:36 p.m., 23rd flr.
Nov. 10, 2012, 10:11 p.m., 17th flr.
Apr. 8, 2012, 4:31 a.m., 24th flr.
Oct. 8, 2011, 2:43 a.m., 18th flr.
Soho Grand Hotel fires:
May 8, 2010, 11th flr.
Jan. 1, 2010, 4th flr.
Feb. 3, 2009, 6th flr.
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