Neighbor Charged in Berdan Avenue Arson
Paul Dombrowski, 40, of Fair Lawn, was arrested Wednesday and charged with aggravated arson and four other counts in connection with a suspicious fire that broke out overnight Monday at a Berdan Avenue home.
A Fair Lawn man has been charged in connection with the suspicious fire that police allege was intentionally set in the basement of an unoccupied single family Berdan Avenue home, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli announced Thursday.
Paul Dombrowski, 40, faces five charges including aggravated arson, burglary, failure to report or control a fire, possession of stolen property and theft of movable property.
Fair Lawn police arrived at the scene of the fire early Tuesday morning after being alerted by contractors who were working at the home. Once on scene, police found the fire had caused significant damage to the home's basement and severe smoke and heat damage throughout the house, authorities said. Police then contacted the Prosecutor's Office and the home's owner, who is in the process of renovating the home.
Police and investigators from the BCPO's Arson Task Force remained on scene conducting interviews, searching the property and investigating the cause and origin of the fire for much of the day Tuesday.
The joint investigation, which was continued by detectives from the BCPO's Major Crimes Unit, the Fair Lawn Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff's Department, revealed that the fire was purposely set in the basement of the dwelling and that numerous items belonging to the homeowner had been burglarized prior to the fire's setting, Molinelli said in a statement.
Dombrowski, who was found with numerous burns to his upper body, hands and face, including his hair, allegedly took the items from the home and started the fire, authorities said. The missing items were later found at his home, located two doors down from the fire at 1-27 Berdan Ave., Molinelli said.
Dombrowski's bail was set at $170,000 with no 10 percent option.