Police make arrest in Waterbury warehouse blaze on New Year’s Eve

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WATERBURY -- Police have arrested a person in connection to a massive fire that destroyed an abandoned warehouse in Waterbury on New Year's Eve.

waterbury-fire-mugTimothy Carlson, 58, of Naugatuck, is charged with arson in the third degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree and criminal trespass in the second degree. He is being held on $200,000 bond.

The fire started around 9 p.m. on Saturday. People noticed smoke in the area of Pearl Lake Road and South Main Street, and while investigating police found a fire in the abandoned warehouse across from the car wash located at 2180 South Main Street.

Within minutes the building was fully engulfed, and flames reached approximately 100 feet at the height of the fire, according to Deputy Chief Rick Hart.

The fire was still smoldering on Monday, two days after the fire was initially put out.

The fire marshal determined the fire was an arson, which led police to investigate and find Carlson as a suspect.

Carlson was seen by witnesses and surveillance video nearby, and he was out of breath and he smelled like smoke.

Carlson was interviewed by police on Monday, and he admitted to being in the building; he said he was walking from Waterbury to Naugatuck and got tired and cold, so he entered the warehouse to rest. He was woken up by the smoke, he told police, and left through the front entrance.

Police say the investigation is still very active, and they are looking into the possibility that Carlson could have been connected to other fires in the area over the past several years.

The warehouse was built in 1900, and was taken over by the city in 2015.