Aug. 20, 2013 By Christian Murray
The Queens District Attorney’s office announced this afternoon that the Woodside man who was charged with starting a series of early-morning fires this past Sunday in Sunnyside Gardens faces up to 25 years in prison.
“The defendant is charged with setting five fires that were responsible for causing extensive damage to several occupied homes, a local business and a vehicle,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “The fires could have caused serious injuries to responding firefighters or any of the people living in the residences.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Devon J. Page, 22, of 39-32 50th Street. Page is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging him with three-counts of second-degree arson, two counts of third-degree arson, one count of fifth-degree arson and one count of petit larceny. If convicted, Page faces up to 25 years in prison.
Page began setting fires at approximately 5:00 a.m. on August 18, 2013. He allegedly started separate distinct fires at 39-82 50th Street – one in the yard and one in the driveway, the latter which caused damage to the residence which was occupied at the time.
Page also started two fires at Donato’s Pizza – which was closed at the time – with one of the fires causing damage to the pizzeria’s exterior walls, the district attorney alleges.
In a third instance, Page allegedly started a rubbish fire between two occupied residences – 39-04 49th Street and 39-10 49th Street.
The district attorney also alleges that Page set fire to a black trash bag in front of 39-24 49th Street and that the fire extended to the occupied residence – just below the bedroom of a three-year-old child.
Finally, Page allegedly got inside a 2008 Mercury Suburban belonging to former City Councilman Eric N. Gioia that was parked in the driveway of 39-41 49th Street and took two pairs of sunglasses from the car and threw a lighted cigarette into the backseat.
The fire damage to the vehicle was extensive and the residence suffered radiant heat damage.