McDonald's Arson Update: Suspect 'We Accidentally Started a Fire'

Three suspects were charged with the Friday night arson of the vacant building on the VFW Parkway in West Roxbury.


One of the three suspects charged with burning down the vacant McDonald's on the VFW Parkway, allegedly admitted to Boston Police that the fire was set by accident while the trio was drinking in the building.

Massachusetts Police informed Boston Police that Mark P. Collins, 18, of West Roxbury, was a possible suspect and went to his home at 32 Lorraine St. He wasn't home, but showed up shortly in wet clothes and barefoot. They went inside to get out of the cold and police asked where he had been and why he was wet. In the presence of two officers, Collins allegedly said, "We got in the McDonald's" and "We accidentially started a fire" according to a Boston Police report. Collins was then placed under arrest for arson of a building and breaking and entering into a building. His clothes were taken for evidence, and after being booked Collins was taken to Faulkner Hospital for hypothermia.

The two other suspects were caught nearby the scene of the crime. One of the suspects allegedly had soot in his nostrils, top lip, and under his nostrils, according to a Boston Police report.

Boston Fire Investigation Unit personnel performed a recorded interview with one of the suspects in the hospital after being caught by police, who said the trio had been drinking in the vacant building.

Dedham Police allegedly caught suspect James McManus, 19, of West Roxbury, behind the Irish Ale House in Dedham. McManus was wearing wet clothes and was taken to Faulkner Hospital for hypothermia. McManus has been summonsed to court and charged with arson, and breaking and entering into a commerical building. McManus told police he had left the building to relieve himself and came back to a fire in the rear of the building. He fled the building into the snow and into a body of water, he told police.

Denis Florez, 18, of 19 Nikisch Ave. #1, Roslindale, was caught nearby, also wearing wet clothes and was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Florez was also arrested and charged with arson and breaking and entering. 

As of Monday afternoon, arraignments date had not yet been set for the suspects. 


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