A 23-year-old man is facing an arson charge after investigators reported that he set a masonic lodge on fire in Connecticut.
Tolland County resident Gino DeGrandis, of Vernon, was arrested on Friday, Jan. 13, and charged with third-degree arson and first-degree criminal mischief, Connecticut State Police reported.
A witness called police at about 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, to report a fire at the Fayette Masonic Lodge, located at 141 Orchard St. in Ellington, police said.
Police obtained security footage that showed a man, later identified as DeGrandis, walking around the area before the fire, according to the arrest warrant.
Authorities shared an image from the security footage and asked the public for help identifying him, later receiving a tip linking the photo to DeGrandis, police said.
Authorities located DeGrandis on Monday, Jan. 9, and he told police he went to the lodge the day of the fire because he is a Freemason, police said. He allegedly said he discovered a fire at the side door.
He said he did not call 911 or attempt to put the fire out but said he did look around the area to see if anyone was around, according to the report.
A K9 later detected the probable presence of ignitable liquids on the clothing and sneakers investigators said DeGrandis was seen wearing the day of the fire, authorities reported.
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