Arsonist Who Lit Fires in JP Gets Prison

Jose Baez was sentenced Friday on charges related to eight fires he set, two of which were in Jamaica Plain.

A Dorchester man will head to prison after admitting to setting four fires in the area, including one at Jamaica Plain Auto Body.

Jose L. Baez, 41, was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release after pleading guilty to four counts of arson in U.S. District Court of Massachusetts Aug. 28, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press statement. Baez was also ordered to pay $3.2 million in restitution to victims.

Baez stacked gasoline-soaked tires in front three garage bay doors at Jamaica Plain Auto Body and ignited them April 29, 2009, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press statement. The fire caused $196,000 in damage.

Baez also set fires at a Cambridge Whole Foods, causing over $53,000 in damage, a commercial and residential building in Kenmore square causing $2.7 million in damage and a three-family residence on Firth Road in Roslindale causing $200,000 in damage. In the latter two incidents he used gasoline to start the blazes.

In all of the listed incidents, Baez had a connection to the location of his fires, according to the statement. He had work done on one of his cars at Jamaica Plain Auto Body and took the shop to small claims court and lost. He worked at the Whole Foods and was “unhappy with his employer,” the statement said.

Baez was also held responsible for fires he set at a hair salon on South Street in Jamaica Plain in 2006 and again in 2009. The statement said he previously dated the owner of the hair salon.


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