Location: Central Islip and Hauppauge, New York
Date: Monday, March 12, 2018
Suffolk County Police arrested three volunteer firefighters for setting fires in Central Islip and Hauppauge during a four-month span.
Following an investigation by Arson Section detectives, with the assistance of the Central Islip Fire Department, Austin Lehman, Stephen Hernandez and Shawn Key were arrested in connection with fires intentionally set at abandoned houses between October and January. All three are members of the Central Islip Fire Department. No one was injured in any of the fires.
The three were charged in connection with fires at:
- 82 Gates Ave. in Central Islip on October 21 at approximately 6 a.m.
- 104 Vanderbilt Ave. in Central Islip on October 24 at approximately 5:20 a.m.
- 173 Gibbs Road in Central Islip on November 7 at approximately 5:50 a.m.
- 43 Oakdale Ave. in Central Islip on November 22 at approximately 2:20 a.m.
- 475 Bridge Road in Hauppauge on January 14 at approximately 3:40 a.m.
Hernandez, 25, of 62A Ridgewood Ave., Central Islip, and Lehman, 19, of 74 Vanderbilt Ave., Central Islip, were charged with five counts of Arson 3rd Degree for their involvement in all five fires. Key, 27, of 10 Chuck Blvd., North Babylon, was charged with Arson 3rd Degree for the fire on November 22.
The three were scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on March 13.
EAST PATCHOGUE, NY : Sunday, January 14, 2018 at approximately 8:20 p.m
A Baldwin, New York man has been identified as the man found dead in the car. Detectives believe his death to be noncriminal in nature.
Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad and Arson Section detectives are investigating an incident in which a person was found dead in the driver’s seat of a car that burned in a fire on Montauk Highway on January 14, 2018.
Fifth Precinct Patrol officers responded to a 911 report of a car on fire in the parking lot of the business located at 1236 Montauk Highway, near Kane Avenue, at approximately 8:20 p.m. The Hagerman Fire Department extinguished the fire without incident before discovering a body burned beyond recognition inside the vehicle.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. The Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death. The victim’s identity will be determined following the autopsy. Arson Section detectives are continuing their investigation into the cause of the fire.
Detectives are asking anyone with information about the incident to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.