Hotel Security Guard Accused Of Starting Fires To Lighten Workload

A New York City security officer has been charged with starting eight fires at two separate Manhattan hotels. Mariano Barbosa Jr.'s alleged habit of starting fires began in 2009 with the latest occurring this month. He's said to have taken advantage of security positions at the upscale Yotel and SoHo Grand on Manhattan's West Side to light newspapers in corridors and in front of exit doors.

All the fires were quickly brought under control by the New York Fire Department (NYFD). One fire from February did however result in two firefighters sustaining minor injuries, the NYFD told the New York Times. Barbosa was reported to be on duty during the eight blazes, all of which occurred on high floors during late night or early morning hours.

The security officer's role in the fires became an issue when he provided inconsistent answers during a questioning with the NYFD, according to reports. On Sunday, Barbosa was charged with arson, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment, as was reported by the Associated Press.