A 59-year-old Rome man has been charged with setting fire to his estranged wife’s Elmer Hill Road residence, almost one month to the day that law enforcers said he torched the one-story structure.
Ronald Lamascolo was arraigned in City Court this morning on a felony charge of third-degree arson, authorities said. His case was adjourned for a felony exam.
Lamascolo was released from University Hospital in Syracuse this morning, and was immediately picked up by investigators with the Sheriff’s Office, according to Undersheriff Robert S. Swenszkowski. Lamascolo was then taken to City Court. Authorities said Lamascolo had been recovering from smoke inhalation he suffered at the June 4 fire at 8491 Elmer Hill Road.
Lamascolo had previously only been considered a "person of interest" by the Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said at about 4 p.m. Monday, June 5, a woman called 9-1-1 and claimed that her husband was at her residence pouring gasoline around the outside. It was reported as suspicious activity, and the Sheriff’s Office and state police responded to investigate.
When the officers arrived, the residence was on fire, and a deputy and a trooper pulled Lamascolo from the burning building. Lamascolo had been found near a side door.
Rome and Lake Delta firefighters responded to the scene and knocked down the blaze in about an hour. Lamascolo was treated at the scene before being transported to the Syracuse hospital. Investigators quickly ruled the fire as intentionally set, but authorities said they were waiting for Lamascolo to recover before charging him.
Also under investigation is whether or not the fire was part of an ongoing dispute between Lamascolo and his wife.
On May 3, authorities said Lamascolo angrily telephoned his wife more than 30 times and left numerous voice mails threatening to kill her. Lamascolo was taken into custody on a charge of second-degree aggravated harassment, and he is scheduled to appear in City Court on July 30.