Two Arrests Made, But Cause Of Massive Fire At State Park Still Unclear | Connecticut Public Radio
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Two Arrests Made, But Cause Of Massive Fire At State Park Still Unclear

Apr 23, 2019

What started a fire that destroyed a multi-million dollar state project in Milford is still a mystery, but this week police arrested two 18-year-olds in connection with a pair of smaller fires at Silver Sands State Park.

Chris Sakowicz and Vincent Keller, both of Stratford, were arrested and accused of setting fires in two metal storage containers at Silver Sands late last month.

Keith Williams, with the Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police, said they charged the two teens after interviews at the Stratford Police Department.

Sakowicz and Keller are also suspected in a string of arsons across Connecticut, including a fire that destroyed Stratford’s Shakespeare Theater in January.

Williams said evidence allegedly linking the two teens to the Silver Sands container fires included equipment taken from those containers prior to their ignition.

He said the suspects tried to pawn some of that equipment and used an ID in the transaction.

“At this point they have no involvement with the main fire at Silver Sands,” Williams said. “That portion is still under investigation. But at this time we are not relating that fire to them.”

The main fire happened about a week prior to the two container fires. That blaze reduced two buildings to smoldering rubble and heavily damaged a third.

The burned-out buildings were part of a controversial $9.1 million state bonding allocation that many local residents opposed, saying it would change the character of the beach.

Williams said arson isn’t being ruled out as a possible cause in those fires.

“We’re still following some leads and still working with the state fire marshal on that,” Williams said. “I’m sure it’s going to be a week or two -- if not longer -- before that gets wrapped up.”