ELLINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut State Police arrested a 23-year-old on Friday in connection to an arson investigation that began in early January.
State police said that with the help of Vernon police, troopers were able to arrest Gino Salvatore DeGrandis on an arrest warrant for arson in the third degree and for criminal mischief in the third degree.
The initial investigation began when a fire broke out at the Fayette Masonic Lodge in Ellington on Jan. 7. Firefighters responded to the scene, and flames had erupted in the building.
Once the fire was under control, investigators watched surveillance footage that they had obtained from the lodge as well as local residences. According to state police, the footage showed a white man walking toward the building with something in his hands. The man proceeded to pour an unidentifiable liquid onto the sides of the building, which police believe was used to start the fire.
The man in the video was later identified as DeGrandis.
Officers spoke with DeGrandis a few days following the fire, at which time he told police that he had been at the lodge the day the fire broke out. He claimed to be a member of the lodge since he was a Freemason, someone who belongs to a fraternal organization.
However, he stated that he did not set the fire. He told police that while he saw it, he did nothing to put it out or contact the police.
After gathering evidence against DeGrandis, including liquid present at the fire on DeGrandis’ clothes identified by K-9 units, police issued an arrest warrant.
DeGrandis was held on a court-set $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.