WEATHERSFIELD - The state Fire Marshal's Office has charged the manager of a local mobile home park with aggravated arson in connection with a fire that destroyed a vacant trailer and damaged one occupied by a man and his two young sons last week.
Jeremy Thipideau was in the Trumbull County Jail on a $25,000 bond on Friday.
Weathersfield police confirmed that Thipideau was arrested about noon at the park manager's office at Suburban Mobile Village. Thipideau also lives at the McKinley Heights trailer park, police said.
Jason Peyatt had to evacuate his mobile home with his sons when the Nov. 29 fire quickly spread from the vacant trailer on 11th Street to his residence next door.
Peyatt said surveillance video of his property clearly shows the suspect holding a gas can, setting the fire and then running from the scene.
"It was just a matter of seconds from the time he was running from the other trailer that I realized my trailer was on fire, too," Peyatt said. "I'm glad I had those cameras up."
No one was injured in the fire.
Peyatt was able to get his sons, Riley, 3, and Damon, 1, along with several pets, out of the trailer. Peyatt's wife, Anastasia, was at work when the fire started about 1:30 p.m. His 11-year-old daughter, Kendra, was at school.
The couple bought the mobile home several years ago. Fire damaged the back of the Peyatts' trailer including the couple's bedroom, a window and the fuse box.
It remains unclear who owns the trailer that was destroyed.
The day of the blaze, Weathersfield fire Chief Randall Pugh said he was told the mobile home had been empty for awhile and that the owner had been away.
Officials were concerned that the entire park area would have to be evacuated because the fire grew quickly and was close to spreading to other homes. However, Pugh said it wasn't necessary as the the fire was contained relatively quickly before it could spread beyond the two trailers.
"The thing is that me, my sons, we could have been killed," Peyatt said. "No matter what the reason, there's no excuse."