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Man Held for Role in Fatal Fire in Lombard, IL

August 4th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Todd Mandoline from Villa Park was asked to leave his ex-girlfriend’s birthday party on Saturday, July 22nd.  At some point during the night, Mandoline walked nearly two miles back to the Lombard house, in order to speak to Paula Morgan early on Sunday morning.  After trading text messages for a while, Morgan stopped answering Mandoline’s text and he became enraged.  Mandoline is now being charged with setting the fire that was responsible for killing Morgan one day before her 25th birthday.

Obviously not pleased with the lack of response from Morgan for a couple of hours, Mandoline acted in the heat of the moment.  “The defendant became enraged, picked up a piece of paper, twisted it up, put it in the gas tank of the victim’s vehicle parked in the driveway and took a lighter and set it on fire,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “The whole car was engulfed in flames. Unfortunately, the fire spread to the home as well.”  The fire spread from the car, then to the attached garage, and then to the home of Paula Morgan and her 6 year old son.

Luckily, Morgan’s son heard a smoke detector alarm and was able to escape from the blaze.  His mother, Morgan, and an acquaintance named Jason Cassidy were trapped on the second floor of the home.  When firefighters were able to remove Cassidy and Morgan from the embers, Morgan had died from smoke inhalation and Cassidy was in critical condition.  He was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood where he remains in critical but stable condition.

Todd Mandoline now faces a multitude of charges, one count of murder in the first degree, two counts of aggravated arson, one count of arson, and one count of criminal damage to property.  While he didn’t remain on the scene after setting the fatal fire, he did admit to starting it.  This case is reminiscent of harassment or stalking which escalated into a fire which devastated many lives.  With any criminal charges, it is important to receive the best legal advice possible from a skilled criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows.

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Written by Staff Writer

August 4th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

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