UPDATED, with comments from EW police chief.
A former Warehouse Point firefighter pleaded guilty Thursday, to starting a 1986 house fire that killed an East Windsor couple.
Peter Waraksa, 50, was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison with 10 years of special parole. He pleaded guilty in Hartford Superior Court to two counts of negligent homicide and one count each of third-degree arson and second-degree burglary, according to court records.
The fire killed Orie “Harold” Weeks, 59, and his wife Assunta, 57, in their home at 17 Broadview Lane in East Windsor on October 7, 1986, authorities said.
Waraksa was arrested 23 years after the crime in July 2010, after a several-year investigation by the East Windsor Police Department and the Cold Case Unit in the Chief State’s Attorney’s office.
East Windsor Police Chief Edward DeMarco Jr. said Friday that the because of the time and length of investigation of the case it became necessary to make a plea bargain to get the results that happened on Thursday.
"As a police department, our heart goes to the family for heartache they've suffered," DeMarco said.
The department is glad that its efforts help bring the case to a conclusion and give the family some justice, DeMarco said.
There were no winners in this case, DeMarco said. It was explained to the Weeks' family members the circumstances of the case and why a plea bargain was offered, he added.
When Waraksa was arrested on charges of molesting five boys in 2005 while he was a member of the East Windsor Emergency Management Agency, he gave a statement to police connecting himself to the 1986 fire, according to an arrest warrant.
He eventually pleaded guilty to six counts of risk of injury to a minor and two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, according to court records. He served a five-year prison term on those counts.