For Immediate Release
Contact: Lindsay Corcoran (508) 368-7252 or (774) 670-8811
WORCESTER – A West Boylston man pleaded guilty today and was sentenced to 14 to 16 years in state prison for starting the fire that killed Worcester Firefighter Christopher Roy, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.
Momoh Kamara, 24, pleaded guilty to four counts, including voluntary manslaughter, arson of a dwelling, armed burglary, and malicious destruction of a motor vehicle. Worcester Superior Court Judge Daniel Wrenn sentenced him to concurrent sentences of 14 to 16 years on the manslaughter and arson charges and 5 years of probation on the armed burglary and malicious destruction charges.
Firefighter Roy, 36, died on Dec. 9, 2018, fighting a blaze at 5-7 Lowell St. in Worcester. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that Firefighter Roy died of smoke inhalation.
Investigators determined that the fire was started in the early hours of Dec. 9 in the basement of 5-7 Lowell St. Residents of the three-story building were able to escape without injury.
Kamara, a former resident of 7 Lowell St., was arrested without incident by Worcester Police. He has been held without bail since his arraignment in March of 2019. The malicious destruction of property charge stems from an incident that occurred before the fire.
“Today’s sentencing is the result of an intensive collaborative effort by all of the agencies who participated in this investigation, including local, state and federal agencies,” Mr. Early said. “I commend the work of everyone in this case, including Senior First Assistant Jeffrey T. Travers, Assistant District Attorneys Joseph A. Simmons and Jane Sullivan, for bringing this case to a conclusion that provides a measure of justice and closure to Firefighter Roy’s family. Our thoughts and prayers are and have been with the Roy family and the men and women serving on the Worcester Fire Department.”
Mr. Early also commended Victim Witness Advocate Maria Deyette for her hard work on this case.
“Firefighter Roy’s family, who have been through a terrible ordeal, remain in our thoughts as the community continues to heal from the tragic events that claimed this hero’s life in the line of duty,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “I thank District Attorney Early, his staff, and the collaborating agencies for their professionalism and dedication to seeking justice.”
“I would like to thank the members of the Worcester Fire Department for their steadfast dedication to serving the mission of the department throughout this investigation,” said Worcester Acting Fire Chief Martin Dyer. “As a department we will continue to remember Chris for the ultimate sacrifice he made on Dec. 9, 2018, and honor his legacy by continuing to serve the community. The Roy family will remain in our thoughts and prayers.”
“I would like to thank our Detective Bureau, the Worcester Fire Department, District Attorney Joseph Early’s Office, the Massachusetts State Police, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for their tireless work and diligent efforts to seek justice in this case,” said Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent. “Our hearts go out to the family of Firefighter Christopher Roy and our brothers and sisters at the Worcester Fire Department, as today’s news brings many emotions. Our community is strong and we will ensure that our fallen heroes are never forgotten.”
“Arson is a crime of extreme violence that puts the lives of the public and first responders in grave danger. This incident is a painful reminder of the violence inflicted from an arson. Momoh Kamara set a fire that claimed the life of firefighter Christopher Roy who was working to protect the public from additional devastation,” said James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge ATF Boston Field Division “ATF is committed with our local, state and federal public safety partners to ensure our communities remain free from the dangerous acts arsonists commit and utilize all the necessary resources to bring these individuals to justice.”
The fire was investigated by Worcester Police and Fire Departments, Massachusetts State Police, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.