Featured Article

Arrest Made for One of the Northampton Fires
Article Audio

1:45 minutes (1.69 MB)
Download this Article
Share this Content

Investigators have arrested a man in connection with one of 15 fires that killed a father and son last month in Northampton, Massachusetts.

25 year old Anthony Baye has been charged with the murder of an elderly man and his son who died in one of a series of fires that were set within a period of about an hour, early in the morning, two days after Christmas. Baye was also charged with armed burglary and arson. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. Five structures including four homes and several cars were damaged or destroyed. 30-year-old Naomi Cairns came home to find her porch on fire. She was in the courtroom.

“I guess I want to see the face of somebody who is ill enough or angry enough to do something like this.”

Federal, state and local law enforcement and fire departments worked closely together on the case. Massachusetts State Fire Marshall Stephen Coan says that kind of sharing of information along with tips from the public led to the arrest.

“This is a textbook case of how arson should be investigated. And when you look at the statistics that only 11 % of serial arsonists are ever arrested we sure did the work here today. And the credit of this work goes to the District Attorney and all these investigators who have circles under their eyes today.”

The morning of the fires Julie Robbins woke up to find her red Subaru burning. She moved to Northampton from New York City a few months after the attacks of September 11th.  She says the community has been very supportive.

“Everybody knows and everybody wants to help. I’m awed. I’m just awed. As an ex New Yorker I’m really awed about the support and the bolstering and the monetary support.”

The defendant could face additional charges on other fires. The next court date is scheduled for early March.

For WNPR, I'm Nancy Cohen.