Man Allegedly Starts 2 Fires at Vacant Stratford House

An investigation into two suspicious fires at a vacant house in Stratford led to an arson arrest on Thursday. 

Michael Sherwood, 51, is accused of arson and related charges after police allege he started fires at home on 28-30 Riverview Place. 

Police and the fire marshal were investigating the two suspicious fires at a vacant house in Stratford over a 13-hour period. One fire was on Wednesday afternoon and the other was on Thursday morning.

The first fire was reported to Stratford 911 at 1:49 p.m. as smoke and fire issuing from the back of the building. No injuries were reported and the damage was confined to the siding on the second- and first-floor rear porch.

The driver of a Winters Bros. sanitation truck driver on his early morning route reported the second fire at 2:05 a.m. Thursday and firefighters found fire burning up the front of the house.

In both cases, the fires were intentionally set on the porch, officials said. The gas and electric utilities were shut off after the first fire and officials said the property recently changed ownership.

Police said Sherwood tried to light the residence on fire because once the new property owners took possession, the previous residents would need to move out.

While Sherwood was interviewed and processed, he threatened police officers, Stratford Police said. 

Sherwood is accused of two counts of third-degree arson, two counts of third-degree criminal trespass, first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree threatening and refusal to be fingerprinted. 

He's schedule to appear in court on July 18.

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