District Attorney

Posted on: November 5, 2015

Cedarhurst Man Pleads Guilty to Apartment Arson

Douglas Drummond set eight separate fires in his apartment that he shared with two other roommates

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Cedarhurst man pleaded guilty today for setting his apartment on fire on the day he was slated to be evicted.

Douglas Drummond, 54, of Cedarhurst, pleaded guilty before Court of Claims Judge Philip Grella to one count of Arson in the 2nd Degree (a B violent felony). The defendant, who is due back in court on Jan. 12, is expected to be sentenced eight years in prison.

“This defendant jeopardized the lives of everyone who lived in his apartment building and the lives of the first responders who battled the fire he recklessly set,” Acting DA Singas said. “The defendant will spend years in prison thinking about all the damage he caused and lives he could have destroyed.”
Acting DA Singas said at approximately 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 16, the defendant – who was slated for eviction that day – lit eight separate fires in the unit he shared with two roommates. The defendant taped the front door to the apartment shut and lit paper and clothes in both of his roommates’ rooms as well as set fire to curtains, a closet and threw more clothing on the lit oven in the kitchen. When the smoke and fire became too much, the defendant ran to the bathroom and called out the window for help. The building was evacuated due to the fire.

The Lawrence Cedarhurst Fire Department responded to the blaze, rescued the defendant and extinguished the fire. The apartment was destroyed and other units in the building, which had approximately 57 units, suffered from water damage.

The defendant was transported to a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation and was arrested by the Nassau County Police Department.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Brand of Acting DA Singas’ County Court Trial Bureau is prosecuting the case. Drummond is represented by William Kephart, Esq.

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