Arson suspected in 2 Cape Cod incidents

By Stewart Bishop
Globe Correspondent / December 13, 2010

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State fire officials are investigating a connection between two separate incidents of arson in two Cape Cod towns, authorities said yesterday.

In both instances, someone apparently left messages at the scene condemning wealthy people, officials said.

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said evidence found at both locations has led investigators to believe they might be connected.

“There is some commonality to both incidents,’’ Coan said. “There was offensive graffiti that was written and very visibly displayed at both sites.’’

On Nov. 24 at around 3:30 a.m., fire crews responded to Boulder Brook Road in Sandwich, where a heavy fire ripped through an unoccupied home and garage that was still under construction.

Coan said State Police assigned to his office and personnel from the Sandwich police and fire departments concluded the blaze was intentionally set, based on physical evidence found. More than a week later in Barnstable, someone attempted to burn down a residence on Trotters Lane in the Marstons Mills section, Coan said.

Barnstable police Detective John York said authorities discovered incendiary devices at the home, and someone had spray-painted expletives on the fence. A similar message was found at the house in Sandwich.

York said the incendiary devices, which officials would not describe in detail, appear to have burned out before setting the Barnstable home on fire Dec. 2.

“Fortunately, no one was injured in either incident,’’ Coan said.

He declined to say how investigators determined the incidents to be arson, citing the ongoing investigation.

Coan urged anyone with information about either incident to call the state’s 24-hour arson hotline at 800-682-9229.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Stewart Bishop can be reached at