Ex-firefighter charged with setting fire at shuttered Hanson pub



Criminal complaint charges 75-year-old Cape resident and former Boston firefighter with setting three-alarm fire.

A Bourne man has been arrested on arson charges after an investigation found that he set fire to an abandoned restaurant in Hanson, according to a statement from the Plymouth County district attorney’s office.

On July 5, at 2:54 p.m., the Hanson Fire Department received a report of a fire at JJ’s Pub, an abandoned commercial property at 16 Liberty St. Upon arrival, fire personnel discovered the interior of the structure to be fully engulfed in fire. The blaze required a three-alarm response and took some time to extinguish due to the full involvement of the structure.

Two Hanson firefighters sustained heat exhaustion injuries battling the blaze and the building was deemed a total loss as a result of this fire.

Massachusetts State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Section and Hanson police and the Fire Department determined that the cause was ruled incendiary and an investigation commenced, the statement said.

As a result of the investigation, Hanson police obtained a criminal complaint charging 75-year-old Alfred C. Russo of Bourne with one count of burning of a dwelling and two counts of arson causing injuries to a firefighter. Russo served as a member of the Boston Fire Department from 1969-1995, when he retired as a firefighter assigned to the Marine Unit.

Russo was arrested at his home in Bourne Wednesday afternoon by state police. He was transported to Plymouth District Court, where he was arraigned on the charges. Russo pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance and ordered to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet, the statement said. The commonwealth requested that Russo be held on $15,000.

Russo is next scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 5.


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