A New Haven man in federal custody on charges of distributing crack cocaine has admitted to being involved in an arson fire that killed three people on March 9.
Hector "Boom Boom" Natal, 25, was presented at U.S. District Court in Bridgeport on drug charges Monday. During the brief appearance, a federal prosecutor said that Natal had admitted on tape that he was involved in the Wolcott Street fire, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office said.
Natal, of New Haven, was arrested Tuesday on Haven Street by a joint federal, state and local task force.
The investigation into the arson fire that destroyed the multifamily house at 48-50 Wolcott St. in the Fair Haven section of New Haven continues. The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for setting the fire.
The fire was apparently set in a second-floor stairwell about 1:30 a.m. on March 9.
Wanda Roberson, 42; her 8-year-old son, Quay Shawn Roberson Alexander; and her 18-year-old niece, Jaquitta Roberson, were killed in the fire. Eight others were injured.
A task force consisting of the FBI, New Haven police, state police, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development -- Office of the Inspector General, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the task force at 800-842-7766, or the FBI office in New Haven at 203-777-6311. All information received will be kept confidential.
New Haven Fire Chief Michael Grant said the fire raced through the third floor of the house where the Robersons were sleeping. More than a dozen people were inside the four-unit apartment building when the fire began, he said. The first floor was vacant.
Firefighters rescued two people from a porch on the second floor and helped several others escape through windows, a back entrance and the front door. A girl broke her ankle jumping from a second-floor window, a witness said.
Eleven people were taken to an area hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.