Former firefighter gets 8 years for setting fatal fire

Former firefighter gets 8 years for setting fatal fire

POSTED: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 4:04pm

A 50-year-old former volunteer firefighter pleaded guilty Thursday to setting a 1986 fire that killed an East Windsor couple, and was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison.

Peter Waraksa pleaded guilty to two counts of negligent homicide, third-degree arson, and second-degree burglary. Ten years of parole will follow the sentence set by Judge Joan K. Alexander.

Waraksa was arrested in July 2010 — more than 23 years after the crimes — in connection with the deaths of Orie "Harold" Weeks, 59, and his wife, Assunta Weeks, 57. The Weekses were found dead after a fire at their home, at 17 Broadview Lane in East Windsor, on Oct. 7, 1986.

Waraksa was a member of the Warehouse Point Volunteer Fire Department at the time of the fire.

At the time of his arrest, he was serving a sentence for an unrelated crime.

Laurence Johnson, a retired East Windsor police officer, was dispatched to the fire at the Weekses' home before the fire department, according to police. He was surprised to see Waraksa arrive in full uniform immediately afterward, according to a warrant in the case.

The cold-case unit in the Office of the Chief State's Attorney's office assisted the East Windsor Police Department with the investigation.

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