YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Authorities arrested a Mahwah man along with his son, daughter and her boyfriend on arson charges in connection with a fire last month that tore through a house under construction on property where he once operated a controversial chicken farm.
John E. Demarino Sr., who turned 41 on Monday, was being held on $150,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with arson for hire in the Nov. 19 blaze, records show.
Being held on $100,000 bail each were his daughter, Kaitlin Demarino, who turned 20 on Tuesday, and her 23-year-old boyfriend, Dakota Shane Degroat. They are charged with aggravated arson, failing to control or report a fire and hindering apprehension.
Demarino’s son, J.J. Demarino, was released without bail on hindering charges.
The quartet of arrests yesterday into this morning comes after investigators first charged a Rockland County man last week in the fire, which gutted the 2½-story wood-frame house under construction on Lakeview Drive, a cul-de-sac off Stag Hill Road.
Antonio Almodovar, 19, who lives in a Pomona trailer park, remained held on $100,000 bail in the county jail on charges of aggravated arson, burglary and failure to report a fire.
New construction on the property “was fully involved when police and firefighters got there” around 9 o’clock the night of the fire, an emergency responder told CLIFFVIEW PILOT a short time later.
Within a half-hour, firefighters went to defensive positions while drafting water from Silver Lake due to a lack of area hydrants.
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