Man sentenced to prison for setting multi-family home ablaze

SE Mass
New Bedford arson North Front Street fire

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Prosecutors say 10 people were home when Brad Westgate set fire to a multi-family home on North Front Street in New Bedford.

Westgate, 40, of New Bedford, was sentenced Tuesday to serve 4-6 years in state prison after pleading guilty to a charge of arson of a dwelling, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced Wednesday.

According to prosecutors, on the night of Sept. 28, 2017, Westgate drove to 314 North Front St. and ignited a flammable fluid in the rear porch entrance and first-floor hallway. 

No one was hurt as a result of the fire but one resident had to be rescued by firefighters from the roof of the three-story home.

It’s believed Westgate set the fires because he had previously been ripped off in a drug deal at that location, according to the DA’s office.

“It is difficult to comprehend that because the defendant was ripped off in a drug deal, he returns and sets an occupied house on fire,” Quinn said in a statement. “His conduct was malicious and could have resulted in death or serious injury. He clearly has no concern for other people and belongs in state prison.”

The DA’s office said the building sustained $200,000 in damage.

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