Morales told police he had been drinking outside his
"He told me some guy wanted to pay money to burn a business down, to get an insurance claim," Morales told police, according to the warrant. "I don't know who wanted the fire set, but the guy offered me
Morales said the other man took him to the business one night to stake out the location, the arrest warrant said. Morales said the man then dropped him off the night of the fire near the barbershop, the warrant said. Morales said the man gave him a gallon of gasoline, a Phillips head screwdriver and specific instructions, according to the warrant.
"He told me the door was unlocked already. He said to make it look like someone pried the door open. He told me when I light the fire, to drill holes in the wall," Morales told police, according to the warrant.
Before leaving, the man gave Morales the
According to his arrest warrant, Morales was initially linked to the crime by a cellphone he left at the fire.
"I can't get into the evidence at this time as the investigation is still ongoing," Mattera said Tuesday.
Morales, who does not appear to have a prior criminal record, was charged with first-degree arson and conspiracy to commit first-degree arson. He failed to post the
Foul play had been suspected in the case as soon as the day after the blaze, according to Fire Inspector
The building, a one-story, former liquor store, was in the final stages of renovation as a barbershop.
While Roos said the building is believed to be structurally sound, its interior and everything that had been inside were a complete loss. It took 26 firefighters to fully extinguish the blaze, according to the warrant.
The building is owned by a limited liability company controlled by the Patel family. They bought the building in 2005 for
The barbershop building was last appraised for about
(c)2020 The Hour (Norwalk, Conn.)
Visit The Hour (Norwalk, Conn.) at www.thehour.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.