New Bedford Man Who Set Fire After Bad Drug Deal Sentenced
FALL RIVER — A New Bedford man who intentionally set fire to an occupied multi-family home has been sentenced.
The Bristol County District Attorney's Office says Brad Westgate, 40, of New Bedford, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Fall River Superior Court to an indictment charging him with arson of a dwelling. Judge Raffi Yessayan sentenced Westgate to serve four to six years in state prison.
Westgate set fire to the rear porch entrance and the first-floor hallway of 314 North Front Street on September 28, 2017, by igniting a flammable liquid. At the time of the fire, more than ten of the residents of the building were home. Nobody was injured as a result of the fire, but one resident had become trapped on the third floor. He was eventually rescued from the roof by firefighters.
The building sustained an estimated $200,000 in damage. It is believed that Westgate set the fire because he had been "ripped off" during a drug deal at the residence on a prior date.
“It is difficult to comprehend that because the defendant was ripped off in a drug deal, he returns and sets an occupied house on fire,” District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said. “His conduct was malicious and could have resulted in death or serious injury. He clearly has no concern for other people and belongs in state prison.”