Police say firefighter had history of arson
The firefighter accused of setting a fire that killed four people in North Lawrence last month has a history of similar behavior, according to police.
Caleb Lacey, 19, is accused of intentionally starting a fire in the stairwell of his neighbors? apartment on Feb. 19. According to police, Lacey did it so he could return to the scene in uniform and become a hero by saving lives or fighting the fire. Marena Vanegas and her three children died in the fire.
News 12 Long Island has learned Lacey was charged last week for allegedly setting a dumpster on fire last May while serving as a Lawrence-Cedarhurst probationary firefighter. The fire department suspended Lacey.
The suspect?s father, Rev. Richard Lacey, is reaching out to the family of the victims. He says he wants the Vanegas family to know he is sincere in his sorrow and grief.
?If any of them hear this, when I shook their hands in court, it was not just put on,? Rev. Lacey says. ?I am strongly with them, praying for them."