Boardman man faces arson charge after bathtub fire

Staff report


A Boardman man faces an aggravated-arson charge, accused of setting fire to his wife’s clothes in the bathtub of their apartment and causing smoke damage in multiple parts of the building.

Thomas P. Ferrara, 42, was arrested by Boardman police on the felony charge and taken to the Mahoning County jail.

Police were called to 4890 Glenwood Ave. about 1:46 p.m. Saturday, after a woman told dispatchers her husband sent pictures to her cellphone of him burning her clothes inside their apartment.

Before police arrived, Boardman firefighters found Ferrara standing outside in his underwear, according to a police report. He then ran back inside the apartment, which had heavy black smoke coming out of it.

Police officers tried to go into the apartment, but the smoke was too thick for them to get past the hallway, the report stated. The 10 other apartment building residents were evacuated.

Ferrara eventually came out of the building, and police said he was “unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech and fell a couple of times.” He refused medical treatment.

Firefighters found the fire contained to the master-bathroom bathtub, but noted smoke damage would be in every apartment of the building.

When officers asked Ferrara what happened, he told police: “I burned some of my wife’s clothes because she was cheating on me ...” police reports stated.

Police said the man smelled like alcohol, and he told police he had consumed a bottle of vodka.

After being searched and questioned, Ferrara passed out in the booking room, according to the police report.

Boardman Fire Chief George Brown estimated damage to the apartment building at $15,000.

Boardman police and an arson investigator from the Boardman Fire Department are continuing the investigation.

Ferrara, who is on probation for a February disorderly-conduct case, was released on $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Mahoning County Court on May 7.

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