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New Bedford Arsonist Sentenced to Prison

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A 40-year-old New Bedford man who intentionally set fire to an occupied multi-family home in September 2017 was sentenced to serve four to six years in state prison yesterday, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Brad Westgate pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court yesterday to an indictment charging him with arson of a dwelling.

On September 28, 2017, the defendant drove to 314 North Front Street and set fire to the rear porch entrance and the first floor hallway by igniting a flammable fluid. When the fire began, more than 10 occupants of the three-floor multi-family building were home. Although no one was injured in the fire, one resident was trapped on the third floor and was forced to escape to the roof of the building. He was eventually rescued from the roof by responding firefighters. The building sustained $200,000 in damage. It is believed the defendant set the fires because he had been ripped off during a drug deal at that location on a prior date.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Shawn Guilderson and the state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Raffi Yessayan.

“It is difficult to comprehend that because the defendant was ripped off in a drug deal, he returns and sets an occupied house on fire,” District Attorney Quinn said. “His conduct was malicious and could have resulted in death or serious injury. He clearly has no concern for other people and belongs in state prison.”

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