Accused Fairfield arsonist implicated in Monroe fires
Accused Fairfield serial arsonist Christopher Message was charged Wednesday with setting fire to three Monroe businesses last August.
Message, 34, of Valley Road, a former EMT and volunteer firefighter, was arrested at the Golden Hill Street courthouse in Bridgeport. He was charged with first-degree arson, third-degree arson, criminal mischief and two counts of third-degree burglary. He was held in lieu of $100,000 bond.
Message, who had served as a volunteer firefighter in Trumbull from May 2002 to 2007, is awaiting trial on charges of setting fires in the early hours of Sept. 8 to Fairfield homes at 1300 North Benson Road, 321 Woodridge Ave. and 53 Cornell Road. All three houses were vacant and for sale.
Following his arrest, police said Message confessed to setting the fires and returned with detectives to the scenes where he demonstrated how he had set the fires.
Following his arrest in Fairfield, Monroe police said Message confessed to setting fires Aug. 8 that destroyed the Rustic Grille at 494 Main St. and damaged the adjoining Frank's Barber Shop and Matt and Louie's Barbershop at 258 Main St.
Message told detectives he torched both the barbershops because he felt the owners had been rude to him when he had tried to get a job there.
He subsequently went to work at a Bridgeport barbershop.
Police said Message told them he had been drinking at the Bubble Lounge in Fairfield and then decided to drive to his girlfriend's home in Monroe. While traveling north on Route 25, police said he told them he suddenly got a thought of setting a fire.
He pulled into the parking lot in front of Frank's Barbershop, broke the front window of the shop and attempted to light the curtains on fire, police said. When they wouldn't ignite, police said he told them he broke into an electrical room at the back of the building and lit three areas on fire with his lighter.
Message then got back into his car and drove to the other barbershop where police said he broke a window in the shop's front door. He grabbed some garbage from a nearby garbage bin and set it on fire against the door, police said.