WEST DENNIS, Massachusetts – At about 3:00 a.m. this morning, police and firefighters rushed to a fully involved shed fire that was starting to catch onto two homes. The fully involved shed fire was on Windward Road and it appeared suspicious. It was the second suspicious fire of the evening in that neighborhood.
As one patrolman was arriving on scene, he thought he heard what he believed to be possible gunshots. It suddenly turned into a possible arson/ ambush situation. (As you will see in the following HN Video, there were several holes in a fence at the fire scene that appeared as they could have been made by bullets.)
HN Note: While HN was responding, everyone on the radio became very concerned about the firefighters on scene who were there to stop the fire from spreading. They were dressed to fight a fire, not a possible gunman. HN quickly pulled over and put on a bulletproof vest, saying a prayer for everyone’s safety – that’s all one can do sometimes…
As you’ll see and hear in the following HN Video, officers quickly set up a perimeter of the entire West Dennis area with the assistance of Harwich and state police. A Yarmouth Police K9 unit also responded to assist.
As firefighters had most of the fire knocked down, a patrolman noticed a man fitting the description of the suspect out walking a number of blocks away from the fire scene, in the area of Good Friends Cafe on School Street. The man had different clothes on from the initial description, but another police officer radioed that they had found clothes discarded behind a house near to the fire scene. It appeared the suspect changed his clothes.
Dennis and state police cruisers flew to the scene of Good Friends Cafe to assist their fellow officer. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident. It was confirmed to be the suspect they were looking for. They found his clothing, but at the time of this report it’s unknown whether a firearm had been found. The suspect was transported to Dennis Police Headquarters to be booked on arson charges.
The state fire marshal was called to Windward Road to continue the arson investigation.
The following Video contains shots of possible bullet holes in the fence. It shows the suspect in the back of a police cruiser. It shows the fire scene and a brief interview with Deputy Chief Tony Kent of the Dennis Fire Department.
[HN VIDEO – PRESS PLAY]
UPDATE – DENNIS PD MEDIA STATEMENT – 9/20/23 2PM:
On September 19, 2023 at 9:16 pm the Dennis Police Department received multiple 911 calls reporting a large fire in the area of Lower County Road and Murphy Road in West Dennis. Officers responded and found a shed at the rear of a property on Lower County Road was on fire which the Dennis Fire Department was able to control and extinguish. Officers determined that the fire’s origin was suspicious so a search of the area for a possible suspect was started and continued until approximately 2:00 am.
At 3:00 am on September 20, 2023 a 911 call was taken reporting another fire, this time at a residence on Windward Road in West Dennis, which is near the site of the first fire. DPD officers responded to the scene and found a shed on the property on fire and attempted to extinguish it but the fire had grown too large. The Dennis Fire Department arrived and quickly put out this fire. While still at this scene, a Dennis officer located a male subject on School Street in West Dennis who was identified as a suspect in the fire investigations and was subsequently arrested. He is a 28 year old male with an address in Dedham, MA who is being charged with:
-ARSON OF DWELLING HOUSE (3 Counts)
-ARSON OF DWELLING HOUSE, ATTEMPTED (3 Counts)
-B&E BUILDING NIGHTTIME FOR FELONY (2 Counts)
-MOTOR VEH, MALICIOUS DAMAGE TO c266 §28(a)
-DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY -$1200, MALICIOUS c266 §127 (3 Counts)
-BURNING A BUILDING
and is scheduled to be arraigned in the Orleans District Court today.
A house to house canvass by Dennis PD Detectives and Officers in the area where the two fires took place resulted in additional crime scenes being identified.
The Dennis Police Department was assisted in this investigation by the following agencies:
Massachusetts State Police
Yarmouth Police Department
Harwich Police Department
Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office-Criminal Investigations Division
P.S. – Today’s Hytown Vignette is a brought to you by Jethro Tull… [CLICK IT/CRANK IT! HEADPHONES ABSOLUTELY OBLIGATORY!]
* The initial details contained in the above report are based on police radio transmissions and information on scene. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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