Suspect in fatal fire pleads not guilty to all chargesWritten by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
The owner of the North Toledo apartment building where two Toledo firefighters were killed pleaded not guilty to all charges Feb. 25.
Ray Abou-Arab, 61, of Oregon, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications, two counts of murder, eight counts of aggravated arson and one count of tampering with evidence.
He appeared before Judge Frederick McDonald in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, who set a pretrial hearing for March 20.
The judge also issued a gag order for attorneys on both sides, saying no statements were to be made outside of the courtroom.
Abou-Arab is being held in jail on a $5.85 million bond, which was continued.
A group of firefighters sat on one side of the courtroom. Toledo Fire & Rescue Department Chief Luis Santiago was also present. Family and supporters of Abou-Arab sat on the other side.
Killed in the Jan. 26 blaze at 528 Magnolia St. were TFD Pvts. James Dickman, 31, and Stephen Machcinski, 42. The fire also injured several other firefighters and displaced the building’s residents, including at least seven adults and two children.