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, 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.

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.


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JDBlackhawk August 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Wow human criminals dont get much more stupid than this at least so far today. Got to stay alert though. There's always the next moron who will try to make this guy look accomplished. Glad no one but the perp got hurt.
Me August 10, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Nice hair.
lance guinta August 10, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Great work by all the detectives and investigators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sheena August 10, 2012 at 03:56 PM
What was the motive? Just burglary and then trying to cover up the evidence by burning the house down? Or was there a personal motice?
Life-Long FL Resident August 10, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Now, I am no criminal or anything, but if I were to rob a house then set it ablaze to cover my crime up I would think I would a) Rob a home farther away than 100 feet from my home, b) get rid of the evidence (loot) before the police start comin a knockin' c) WOULDNT ANSWER THE DOOR looking the way I do.... Obviously you are the perp! d) get lost for a few days to let things cool over... This guy is obviously wacko and wanted to get caught.... Now on another note, what if the contractors called the police and it went to the regional dispatch in Mahwah (where it is being thought to be moved) well it is my belief that they would not have dispatched our wonderful volunteer fire department so quick and the home may have been destroyed in the fire... I believe and will continue to believe that a local dispatch makes the difference between life and death, and a lot of property damage versus a little smoke damage! KEEP OUR LOCAL DISPATCHERS!!


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