Elderly Bourne Man Gets House Arrest for Fire Injuring Firefighters
BROCKTON — A Bourne octogenarian and former longtime firefighter will spend four years under house arrest, after pleading guilty to setting a three-alarm fire in Hanson that left two firefighters injured.
The Plymouth County District Attorney's Office said 81-year-old Alfred Russo admitted Friday to one count of burning a dwelling and two counts of arson causing injuries to a firefighter.
Russo, a former 26-year member of the Boston Fire Department, was one of three people involved in burning down an abandoned pub in Hanson in July 2018 for insurance purposes.
Hanson fire crews responded to a reported fire at the abandoned JJ's Pub on Liberty Street in Hanson on the afternoon of July 6, 2018.
They arrived to find the interior fully engulfed in flames, and required a three-alarm response and several hours to extinguish the blaze.
Two firefighters sustained heat exhaustion injuries while fighting the fire, according to the D.A.'s office.
The building was completely destroyed.
State and local police and fire investigators found the fire had been set on purpose using a blow torch and a rubber tire, eventually charging Russo for the incident.
According to investigators, property owner Patricia Harrison, 63, and her acquaintance Wayne Cummings, 52, had enlisted Russo's help in setting the fire.
Harrison filed a $415,000 insurance claim the day after the fire.
Both she and Cummings pleaded guilty to their role in the scheme in April 2022.
They were sentenced to two years of probation.