Man Charged With Arson After Setting Apartment On Fire
Published: December 29th, 2021
By: Tyler Murphy

NORWICH – A Norwich man was charged with felony arson and endangerment after he allegedly started a fire in his apartment building, shared by at least eight other tenants in four apartments, at just after midnight between Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

The Norwich Police Department released a statement Wednesday about the incident:

“On Tuesday December 28 at approximately 12:08 a.m., the Norwich City Police Department, as well as the Norwich Fire Department responded to 30 Cortland Street Apartment 3 for a reported fire.

“After a thorough investigation by Norwich Fire Department Fire Investigators, and Norwich Police Department officers, the following individual was taken into custody.”

Police charged the apartment's resident Steven Allen Manwarren, age 54, with second degree arson, a B Class felony; first degree reckless endangerment, a D Class felony; and second degree criminal mischief, a D Class felony.

“There were many families in this apartment house, and thankfully the Norwich Fire Department and investigators acted fast, and we were able to take Mr. Manwarren into custody before anyone was injured,” said Norwich Detective Sergeant Reuben Roach.

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Roach said most of the residents were sleeping, but some had woken up and reported to officials that they had smelled smoke just after midnight. He said the investigation showed Manwarren had intentionally started the fire and shown a “grave indifference to human life.”

Norwich Fire Chief Jan Papelino said the incident involved placing items, including plastic, inside an oven that then melted and burned out to the surrounding floor area. He said the investigation was ongoing.

Manwarren was arraigned at Norwich City Court and held on no bail pending a felony hearing.