A resident of a Port Jefferson Station group home intentionally lit a fire at the facility, located on Poplar Street, during the afternoon July 3, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. A 6th Precinct Police Officer extinguished the fire.
Sixth Precinct Patrol Officer Joanna Westrack responded to call of a house fire at a congregate care facility, which is operated by Options for Community Living, in Port Jeff Station, at about 1:25 p.m. Within minutes, Westrack arrived on scene and observed smoke emanating from the second floor of the home. As smoke streamed from the door, she entered the room and used a fire extinguisher to put out a mattress that was fully engulfed by fire. There were no injuries to staff or residents of the home.
Arson Section detectives, personnel from the Terryville Fire Department, and a Fire Marshal from Brookhaven Town also responded. An investigation by Arson detectives revealed the fire was intentionally set.
Sheldon Whittingham, 38, a resident of the home, was arrested and charged with second-degree arson. He is being held at the 6th Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip July 4.
Attorney information for Whittingham was not immediately available.