YOU SAW HIM HERE FIRST: Authorities have charged a Rockland County man with setting a fire last week that tore through a 2½-story wood-frame house under construction on a Mahwah cul-de-sac.
Antonio Almodovar, 19, who lives in a Pomona trailer park, was ordered held on $100,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail on charges of aggravated arson, burglary and failure to report a fire following a first appearance in Municipal Court, Police Chief James Batelli said.
A source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that Almodovar is an acquaintance of the former owner, who sold the Lakeview Drive property off Stag Hill Road after a battle with the borough over 150 or so chicken coops that he’d kept on the lot.
New construction on the property “was fully involved when police and firefighters got there” last Wednesday around 9 p.m., an emergency responder told CLIFFVIEW PILOT a short time later.
Within a half-hour, firefighters went to defensive positions while drafting water from the Silver Lake due to a lack of area hydrants.
All units were cleared around 1 a.m.
An arraignment for Almodovar, who Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said is single and unemployed, was set for Friday.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
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