Warrant reveals new details on blaze that killed 2 Toledo firefighters
Sat, 01 Feb 2014 01:12:27 GMT —
Warrants issued for the arrest of an Oregon man charged with setting a fire, at his Toledo property, that killed 2 firefighters reveal new information.
In documents filed charging Ray Abou-Arab with the aggravated murders of Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman, officials allege that a witness saw the 61-year-old leave 528 Magnolia only a minute before the fire was spotted.
While fighting the fire, on Sunday, Toledo firefighters Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman died.
The warrant says the pair were "killed inside 528 Magnolia" and not at the hospital as previously reported by WNWO.
Toledo Police Detective Deb Hahn also wrote, in the criminal complaint filed Friday, that a witness saw Abou-Arab "enter the garage located at 528 Magnolia where he remained for over a minute....Immediately after Abou-Arab exited the garage structure, the occupant of the rear apartment adjacent to the garage at 528 Magnolia noticed the wall of the structure was on fire."
According to Ohio code Abou-Arab could face up to life in prison with or without the possibility of parole if convicted on a single count of aggravated murder.
The punishment, however, would depend on if the murder charges are prosecuted with the addition of one or more specifications considered aggravating circumstances.
In addition to the pair aggravated murder charges filed, both felonies, Abou-Arab also faces two counts of aggravated arson.
The aggravated arson charges do include the specification that there was "substantial risk of serious physical harm to another person other than the suspect."
Mayor D. Michael Collins issued a statement on Friday that said "Abou-Arab is suspected of using an ignitable liquid inside of the garage of the structure at 528 Magnolia resulting in a fire that killed Private Stephan Machcinski and Private James Dickman. He is currently in custody. "
At the time Abou-Arab's arrest the Mayor was in Sandusky attending funeral services for Private Dickman.
â??I would like to thank the agencies that were involved in this investigation, our Cityâ??s fire investigators, our Toledo Police Department, the State Fire Marshal, the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This is an ongoing case that must proceed through the court system, given that, I will refrain from additional comments at this time,â?? Mayor Collins said in a statement.
Toledo Police also chose not to hold a press conference on the arrest on Friday but said one may happen at a later date.
WNWO has obtained the records confirming Abou-Arab owns the property where the two firefighters were killed on Jan. 26.
Private Stephen Machcinski and Private James Dickman were honored in a 'Last Alarm' ceremony at the SeaGate Centre on Thursday. Dickman was buried Friday afternoon. Machcinski will be buried on Saturday.
This is not Abou-Arab's first time facing legal action in the Toledo area. According to court records, he has also been charged with the illegal use of food stamps, telecommunications fraud and the unauthorized use of property computer equipment.
Charges in some of those cases were dropped; however, Abou-Arab appears to have also been part of a
made in May of 2012.