Teen Accused of Setting Fire to Vacant House in Hartford

An 18-year-old Hartford man is accused of setting an early morning fire on Babcock Street in Hartford Tuesday.

Jaleel Torres, 18, of Hartford, has been charged with first-degree arson, first-degree criminal mischief and interfering with police.

Fire officials said they received a call at 1:17 a.m. Tuesday reporting fire in a vacant building at 159/161 Babcock St., in the city’s Frog Hollow neighborhood.

When firefighters arrived, they found heavy fire coming from the second- and third-floor porches and windows.

Firefighters struck a second alarm and went to work, but the building sustained serious damage.

Police said they found several pieces of evidence at the scene, including a gas can and lighter. They also obtained surveillance video. 

As officers were investigating, they received a 911 call from Torres’ father, who said his son had a serious burn to his hand. 

Officers responded and determined the burn victim matched the description of the suspect in the fire. 

Torres then fled, but and police found him after a short chase and took him to Hartford Hospital. When he was released, crews transported him to the Hartford police department major crimes division/arson. 

No one else was injured in the fire.

Contact Us