Authorities to Speak on Significant Development in Fatal Worcester Fire Probe – NECN

Speaking during an afternoon press briefing, District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. identified the suspect as Momoh Kamara, a former resident of the building that caught fire,

Kamara, of West Boylston, was arrested Friday and arraigned in Worcester Superior Court on charges of second degree murder, arson of a dwelling, armed burglary and malicious destruction of a motor vehicle, according to Early’s office.

Man charged with second-degree murder, arson in death of Worcester firefighter

Judge William Sullivan ordered Kamara held without bail, officials said, and his next court date is slated for April 24.

Death of Worcester firefighter ruled a homicide | News

The DA declined to discuss a possible motive for the crime but said Kamara “did know people” in the apartment complex at 5-7 Lowell Street. Asked if Kamara was known to police, Early said “not really.”

Asked about the evidence that led investigators to Kamara, Early would only say “great police work. … A great investigation, with everyone working together piece by piece.”

Early said in a follow-up statement, “Today’s indictment was the result of a long and intense investigation that started immediately after Firefighter Roy’s death and is ongoing. “This investigation is an example of tremendous cooperation and coordination by local, state and federal agencies. I want to thank everyone involved for the many painstaking hours of hard work necessary to get us to where we are today.”

Roy, the father of a 9-year-old girl, was killed Dec. 9 while battling a heavy fire at the residence, officials have said. Flames were reported in the basement at 3:58 a.m. that morning, and firefighters had ascended to the second floor of the six-unit structure when it became clear that it was unsafe to remain inside.

“With the assistance of other crews in the rapid intervention team, five firefighters escaped over ladders. Two firefighters were transported to the local hospital,” Fire Chief Michael Lavoie said at the time. “Fire crews were heroic in their efforts to rescue their colleagues under extreme conditions.”

During Friday’s news conference, Lavoie told reporters that his department remains “devastated by the loss of our brother firefighter Christopher Roy.”

Lavoie and Early were joined by City Manager Edward M. Augustus and Michael Papagni, president of the Local 1009 union for city firefighters.

“The death of Christopher Roy was devastating” to his family, colleagues and the entire city, Augustus said. He thanked investigators for their work on the case and said he hoped the judicial process would provide Roy’s relatives “the answers … that they deserve.”

Papagni asked the media to respect the Roy family’s privacy and said members of the public can still donate to the Ava Roy Fund, which was set up for Roy’s daughter after his death.

“Our firefighters before this fire and since have exhibited the courage to answer every call for help and the bravery to get their jobs done,” Papagni said. “And that’s not going to change.”

Rich MacKinnon, president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, also reacted to the news of Kamara’s indictment.

“While the current finding, that the fire that took the life of Firefighter Christopher Roy was arson, our focus continues to be on the safety and well-being of Chris’ daughter, Ava, and the Roy family,” MacKinnon said in a statement. “As firefighters we take an oath to protect the public at all costs and understand the inherent risks with each call. We thank District Attorney Joe Early, Jr., for his comprehensive investigation and ask the public to keep the Roy family in your thoughts as they continue to grieve and attempt to move forward, and give them the privacy they deserve.”

Augustus had said in the immediate aftermath of Roy’s death that the incident recalled prior tragedies that had befallen the Fire Department.

“The loss is especially gut-wrenching in the wake of the anniversary of the Worcester Six on Dec. 3, 1999, and firefighter Davies on Dec. 7, 2011,” Augustus said at the time. “Every day, our firefighters selflessly risk their lives without a second thought. Today they showed incredible heroism, dedication, and devotion in their efforts to save firefighter Roy.”

“He had a passion for hunting and fishing,” the obituary said. “Chris recently purchased a new ATV and was looking forward to using it while on his hunting excursions. Firefighter Roy loved to cook, especially for his fellow Firefighters at the Webster Square Station. Traveling was always a cherished time with Chris, he could often be found taking trips to Old Orchard Beach with his family or visiting Clearwater, FL, however he was the happiest on trips when he was in Myrtle Beach with his daughter, Ava.”

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