Lightning strikes thrice?

January 11, 2008
By

David Taber

Hyde Park blaze hits two JP arson victims

A fire in a three-story building in Hyde Park on Jan. 5 displaced 20 people and seven businesses, including Maria’s Hair Fashion 2, which was located at 138 South St. in JP until that space was destroyed by a fire in 2006.

The 2006 South Street fire was ruled an arson by Boston Fire Department (BFD) investigators. The Hyde Park building’s owner, Christ Stamatos, owns several JP properties, including 617-619 Centre St. That building, which housed the offices of the Stamatos-owned Century 21 Pondside Realty, was destroyed in another 2006 fire also determined by investigators to be the result of arson.

According to BFD spokesperson Steve Macdonald, the cause of the latest fire has not been determined.

Investigators are aware of the coincidences in the case though. “It is definitely part of the investigation,” Macdonald said.

The Boston Globe reported that Maria’s Hair Fashion 2 sustained the most extensive damage of any of the businesses in the building.

When asked by the Gazette about the bizarre coincidence, Stamatos said he is “not that stupid to do anything stupid like that.”

He also said he did not think the fire was the result of a vendetta either against him or salon owner Maria Joseph.

“It had nothing to do with me or the owner of the hair salon,” Stamatos said. “Hopefully this one did not have anything to do with arson.”

Stamatos said he is thankful “everyone made it out safely and no one got hurt.”

The Gazette interviewed Stamatos after a meeting of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) Public Service Committee, in which the transfer of a liquor license for a JP business recently acquired by the Stamatos family was approved. In that meeting, committee members raised concerns that the burned out Centre Street building has been sitting derelict for a year-and-a-half. [See related article.]

Macdonald said the investigation into the 2006 JP arsons are ongoing and there is nothing new to report.

Another JP business, El Oriental De Cuba at 416 Centre St., was also firebombed in 2006.