QUEENS MAN CHARGED WITH ARSON AND OTHER CRIMES AFTER ALLEGEDLY SETTING FIRE TO VEHICLES IN TOW YARD; MORE THAN 100 FIREFIGHTERS RESPONDED TO JULY 2020 BLAZE
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, joined by New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro, announced today that Egor Spiridonov, 30, has been charged with arson, criminal mischief and other crimes for allegedly setting a fire to his own tractor truck in a tow company’s lot after the vehicle had been impounded. The blaze burned the defendant’s vehicle and multiple other automobiles, as well as a building on the lot, in July 2020, causing more than $100,000 in damages.
District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant allegedly set a fire that not only destroyed his property but others’ belongings as well and then he tried to profit from his own alleged criminal actions. An FDNY investigation foiled the defendant’s plans. I want to thank Commissioner Nigro’s team for their hard work. We will be prosecuting the defendant to the fullest extent of the law.”
FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said, “FDNY Fire Marshals thoroughly investigate every arson fire and work diligently to apprehend those who use fire to harm others or for financial gain. This fire was a senseless act that escalated to a second alarm, damaging property and endangering the lives of more than 100 Firefighters who responded to bring it under control. I commend them and our Fire Marshals for their outstanding work.”
Spiridonov, of Shore Front Street in Broad Channel, was arraigned late Monday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Scott Dunn on a complaint charging him with criminal mischief in the second degree, arson in the third degree, insurance fraud in the third degree, falsifying business records in the first degree, trespass and reckless endangerment in the second degree. Judge Dunn ordered the defendant to return to Court on February 10, 2021. If convicted, Spirindonov faces up to 15 years in prison.
District Attorney Katz said Spiridonov allegedly targeted B&M Towing after a worker towed the Volvo tractor truck that the defendant owns with his girlfriend. The vehicle was impounded for alleged having several overdue parking violations. According to the investigation, Spiridonov’s girlfriend – who also jointly co-owns a business with the defendant – made multiple calls to retrieve the vehicle from the tow lot, without success.
On July 20, 2020, between 5 and 5:30 a.m. video surveillance allegedly shows the defendant enter B&M Towing’s lot on Almeda Avenue in Arverne and set fire to the 2008 Volvo Tractor and a flatbed tow truck, according to the complaint. The fire quickly spread to a building and other vehicles on the lot. When the flames were extinguished, there was more than $100,000 in damages.
According to the surveillance video, Spiridonov and another unidentified individual allegedly entered the tow yard from atop a shipping container in the rear of the property. The defendant pulled two bottles from inside his clothing, approached a tow truck and doused it with liquid, believed to have been an accelerant. The defendant then allegedly poured liquid onto the flatbed tow truck. Moments later, using a lighter, he reached through the window of the flatbed tow truck and started a fire. In an instant, there was a vapor explosion that blew flames directly into his face. Spiridonov reeled back and clutched his face. Undeterred, the defendant allegedly continued on to his vehicle and set it on fire as well.
Continuing, the District Attorney said, several days later on July 24, 2020, the defendant and his girlfriend contacted the insurance company and allegedly reported their tractor, valued at approximately $30,000, completely destroyed. The defendant reportedly told an insurance agent he had been on a fishing trip when the truck was damaged. Investigators reported that when Spiridonov was interviewed, he had injuries to his face that were not present before the alleged arson incident, including visible signs of burn injuries and trauma to his left eye and face.
The investigation was conducted by Fire Marshal Stephen Laureno of the FDNY and the New York City Police Department’s 100th Precinct.
Assistant District Attorney Hana C. Kim, Chief of the District Attorney’s Auto Crime and Insurance Fraud Unit, of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Mary Lowenburg, Bureau Chief and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney Gerard Brave.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.