Monroe police have charged a homeowner with arson in connection with a fire that destroyed the house at 62 Hunter Ridge Road in 2008.
Police said charged Amanda Azevedo, 37, with arson in the first degree, criminal attempt to commit insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit larceny in the first degree and arrested her in Clearwater, Florida on Jan. 23 was arrested as a fugitive of justice. She was brought back to Connecticut on Tuesday.
Police have also charged Diniz DePina, of Bridgeport, with conspiracy charges connected to the fire.
Police said Amanda Azevedo and her son were living in the home and the family had fallen on difficult financial times, incurring large debt, both personal and with the family business and Amanda relocated to the state of Florida shortly after the fire.
Firefighters responded to the fire at 9:52 a.m. on Jan. 28, 2008 when a resident reported that her neighbor’s house was on fire and found the house fully engulfed.
Putting out the fire was complicated by the windy conditions and the lack of fire hydrants on the street, so water had to be brought to the scene by tanker trucks. The home was a total lose.
Police said the homeowner and family were not home at the time of the fire and three of the family’s dogs were found roaming the yard. A neighbor took them in.
Fire investigators determined that the fire started in the front center of the home, but they could not determine the cause, and the case went to the State’s Attorney’s Office, Fairfield Judicial District in Bridgeport because of suspicion of arson.
The house has since been demolished, according to the assessor's records.
In late 2012, inspectors of the State’s Attorney’s office and the Monroe Police Detective Bureau examined the cold case and Amanda Azevedo became the focus of the investigation, police said.
Her husband, Jao Azevedo, was excluded as a suspect and police said he had since passed away on Dec 17, 2010.
Monroe Police detectives obtained an arrest warrant, charging Amanda Azevedo with arson in the first degree, criminal attempt to commit insurance fraud and criminal attempt to commit larceny in the first degree.
On Jan. 23, Azevedo was arrested in Clearwater, Florida as a fugitive of justice and she was transported back to Connecticut on Feb. 5, after an extradition hearing in Florida.
She is being held on a $250,000 bond and will appear in Bridgeport Superior Court on Feb. 6.
Police said DePina is a known associate of the Azevedo’s and was arrested on Jan. 23 and charged with conspiracy to commit arson in the first degree and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.
DePina posted a court-set $100,000 bond.