Unit’s work leads to arrest in 2007 fire

Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS – It took more than three years, but the county’s Arson Unit has charged one resident of burning down an apartment building.

Giovanni Naccarato, 44, was arraigned Dec. 1 in 25th District Court in Lincoln Park and received a $20,000 personal bond. His arrest was prompted by a fire at an apartment building in the 1500 block of Lafayette in that city.

Naccarato is being held responsible for an Oct. 7, 2007, fire that occurred while all of the tenants in the complex had been advised to evacuate the building for insect fumigation. None of the residents were injured or even present due to the evacuation, but one firefighter was injured at the scene.

Firefighters arrived to see flames emanating from the two-story brick apartment building and later found two partially filled gas containers on the stairway leading to the second floor, as well as a third gas can in the southwest corner of the basement.

Naccarato is charged with four counts of arson of a dwelling, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison; arson of insured property, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison; and arson of personal property $1,000 to $20,000, which is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Facing up to 35 years in prison, Naccarato’s preliminary examination is scheduled for Jan. 11.

A recent grant from the Michigan Arson Prevention Committee through the Wayne (County) Arson Reduction program has allowed county investigators to track down arsonists such as Naccarato. In 2009, there were 6,515 arson and suspicious fires reported in the county, according to County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office. That compares to 5,669 in 2008.

“Arson fires have been plaguing our communities, and with the assistance of the Michigan Arson Prevention Committee working closely with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, we are making great progress in prosecuting defendants who are jeopardizing the safety of our citizens, our firefighters and ruining property values,” Worthy said.

Through the MAPC, rewards of up to $5,000 are paid to people providing information leading to the arrest or conviction of arsonists. Call (800) 44-ARSON to report such a crime.

(Contact Chris Jackett at cjackett@bewickpublications.com)