Daniel Phillips Sentenced to 10 Years In Prison For Setting Major Fire in Residential Building

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of DANIEL PHILLIPS, 32, to 10 years in prison to be followed by five years post-release supervision, as well as $10,000 in restitution. On November 1, 2010, the defendant was convicted at trial on charges of Arson in the Second Degree, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, and Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, for starting a fire at 410 West 48th Street, a six-story apartment building with approximately 71 residents.

“It must have been terrifying for the residents and families fleeing this fire to find flames and smoke blanketing their building’s stairwell in the middle of the night,” said District Attorney Vance. “The defendant had every reason to believe that setting this fire would endanger every resident in the building, but he did it anyway, causing extensive damage and displacing residents on a bitterly cold winter night. Apart from jeopardizing lives, the safety of firefighters responding to the scene was also compromised.”

As proven at trial, the defendant attended a party in the building during the early morning hours of January 25, 2009. PHILLIPS got into an argument with another individual, and was asked to leave by the host at approximately 4:30 a.m. The defendant left the apartment and the building and, within moments, he returned and set a fire underneath a stairwell on the first floor, where the recycling and garbage bins were kept. The fire and smoke traveled up the stairwell, blowing out the skylight on the roof, and causing significant fire damage to the stairwell and smoke damage to the majority of apartments. On a 14-degree night, dozens of people in the building were evacuated, many via fire escapes. The fire caused more than $320,000 in damage to the building itself.

District Attorney Vance thanked Assistant District Attorney Ryan Hayward, who prosecuted this case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney William Darrow, Chief of Trial Bureau 70. Former Trial Preparation Assistant Elaine Driscoll assisted at trial.

Defendant Information:

New York, NY


Arson in the Second Degree, a class B violent felony, one count
Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, a class D felony, one count
Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor


10 years in state prison
5 years post-release supervision
$10,000 restitution


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