Man who described fire to news crew claiming to be a witness con - KPTV - FOX 12

Man who described fire to news crew claiming to be a witness convicted of arson

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Henry Gulacy described a fire that destroyed a Forest Grove home to a FOX 12 news crew in August 2015. He was later arrested for arson. (KPTV file image) Henry Gulacy described a fire that destroyed a Forest Grove home to a FOX 12 news crew in August 2015. He was later arrested for arson. (KPTV file image)
Five people were in the Forest Grove home when a fire alarm woke them up. (Photo: Forest Grove Fire & Rescue) Five people were in the Forest Grove home when a fire alarm woke them up. (Photo: Forest Grove Fire & Rescue)
Henry Louis Gulacy, jail booking photo Henry Louis Gulacy, jail booking photo
FOREST GROVE, OR (KPTV) -

A man who told FOX 12 he heard people yelling and windows breaking as a massive fire tore through a 100-year-old Forest Grove home has been convicted of arson.

Henry Louis Gulacy, 20, was arrested in September 2015. A jury convicted him Friday on charges of first-degree arson and first-degree burglary.

Firefighters responded to the 2100 block of Hawthorne Street early in the morning on Aug. 28, 2015.

A family of five woke up to a smoke alarm. One person had to jump from a window to escape and multiple people were treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation.

A backdraft explosion sent fire throughout the house and crews could only fight the fire from the outside. The roof collapsed and the house was destroyed.

Later that morning, Gulacy, who lived nearby, agreed to talk to FOX 12 on camera about the fire as someone who had witnessed it.

"It actually caught the tree on fire a little bit and my mom was worried about it spreading to our house, but it never did," he said on Aug. 28, 2015.

Investigators later said evidence led them to identify Gulacy as a person of interest in that fire, as well as another one at an unoccupied home on the 2300 block of 9th Avenue on Sept. 17, 2015.

Extensive surveillance was conducted on Gulacy by detectives, leading to his arrest.

Gulacy agreed to plead guilty on May 23 to charges of second-degree arson and second-degree burglary, however prosecutors and defense attorneys disagreed on other terms of the deal, so Gulacy still had to face trial on his remaining charges.

A jury found him guilty of first-degree arson and burglary charges Friday, but he was found not guilty on 13 counts of attempted aggravated murder.

Gulacy is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8.

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