NEW BEDFORD — A 30-year-old city man charged with setting house fires was held without bail Friday in New Bedford District Court, according to Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III.
Prosecutors requested a dangerousness hearing at Jose DeBritto's arraignment and he was ordered held, Miliote said. The hearing will be Oct. 19 in New Bedford District Court.
DeBritto is charged with setting fire to a two-family home at 149 Myrtle St. on Wednesday night and a two-story home at 245 State St. early Thursday, according to the state fire marshal.
Authorities did not say whether DeBritto is a suspect in the many other suspicious fires in the city.
Jennifer Mieth, a spokeswoman for the state Fire Marshal's office, said the investigation into the other fires is continuing.
“These fires were in occupied buildings. which is very troubling and could easily have ended in tragedy," said Fire Chief Michael Gomes in a news release.
“I am continually impressed by the quality of investigators and high level collaboration with our law enforcement and fire investigating partners," said Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro in a news release. "I am grateful for their dedication in this case bringing closure and comfort to the residents in the North End District. I appreciate the community involvement and the investigators relentless pursuit of the culprit raising havoc in our community.”