YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Confirming a CLIFFVIEW PILOT account from yesterday, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli this afternoon formally announced the arrests of a Rockland man along with his son, daughter and her boyfriend on arson charges in connection with a fire that destroyed a house under construction on property where he once operated a controversial chicken farm.
John E. Demarino Sr., (top, left) who turned 41 on Monday, remained 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 (bottom, left), who turned 20 on Tuesday, and her 23-year-old boyfriend, Dakota Shane Degroat (bottom, right). They are charged with aggravated arson, failing to control or report a fire and hindering apprehension.
Demarino’s son, J.J. Demarino (top, right), was released without bail on hindering charges.
The Demarinos, formerly of Mahwah, all live in Sloatsburg. Degroat lives in Ringwood.
All were arraigned in Municipal Court in Mahwah on Wednesday night following their arrests.
Investigators from Molinell’s Major Crimes Unit Arson Squad and Mahwah police first charged another 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.
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CLIFFVIEW PILOT broke the news of the arrests yesterday morning: Four more charged in Mahwah arson
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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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