On February 7, 2011 at 12:41am, officers responded to a report of a fire at 74 Medford Street. Upon arrival, officers noticed heavy fire conditions extending out from the first floor. Trapped second floor residents required immediate rescue by the Boston Fire Department Ladder 9. Officers were assisting with evacuations when they received information from an individual who indicated that several individuals were responsible for setting the fire.
Officers further received information that the suspects fled into an apartment on Decatur Street. The officers approached the residence and the suspect’s wife answered the door. Based on intelligence received, the officer asked to speak with “James”. His wife stated that James was sleeping in his bedroom. The officer was led to the bedroom where the suspect, James Burrell, was laying in bed shirtless and shoeless. The officer asked the suspect what he had been doing and where he last came from. Burrell indicated that he had been sleeping for the last several hours.
During this time, officers had learned that an individual had a verbal altercation with James Burrell over a drug debt. After the altercation, a witness noticed a liquid migrating into the apartment at 74 Medford Street from under the front door. A witness then observed three suspects outside the door through a peep hole and observed Burrell ignite the liquid. Heavy fire quickly filled the apartment forcing the residents to escape out the window.
A concerned community member approached an officer who was conducting traffic at the corner of Chelsea Street and Medford Street and stated that a Nissan fleeing Decatur Street onto Chelsea Street was involved in the fire. Officers soon stopped the Nissan which contained two individuals believed to be connected to the incident. Those two individuals, Daniel Grayson and Dashaun Lanair James, were taken into custody.
Evidence obtained and witness identifications led to the swift arrest of three individuals: James Burrell, 32, of Charlestown, Dashaun Lanair James, 32, of Charlestown and Daniel Grayson, 28, of Roxbury. All three were charged with Arson, Multiple Dwelling. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.