Police: Fairfield man starts blaze after lighting fireworks

FAIRFIELD — Mark Lotstein, a 50-year-old Fairfield resident, was arrested on July 4 after allegedly starting a fire by lighting multiple aerial fireworks.

A neighbor called to report that garbage cans inches from his residence were on fire. When police arrived, the resident was attempting to put out the fire, which was at least six feet high. The complainant alleged that he had seen his neighbor, whose name he did not know but described as matching Lotstein, lighting off fireworks a short time before they noticed the fire.

Police spoke with Lotstein, who at first stated that he had been inside and did not know who set off the fireworks. Later, Lotstein allegedly admitted that he had indeed lit the fireworks and quickly returned inside afterwards. Upon noticing the fire, he had gone outside with a fire extinguisher but re-entered his home after seeing multiple emergency vehicles on the scene. Lotstein contended that setting off the fireworks was a mistake and he had not intended to cause damages.

Lotstein was charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree, criminal mischief in the third degree and illegal use of fireworks. He signed a misdemeanor summons and was released on a written promise to appear in court in Bridgeport on July 18.