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Man suspected of setting Wells fires gets 4-10 years in prison

By ThisIsReno


Header-LogoReno firefighters and residents of a Wells Avenue neighborhood are relieved that a serial arsonist will spend years incarcerated. Last week Washoe District Court Judge Brent Adams sentenced 50-year-old Mike Malucelli to 4 to 10 years in prison for second degree arson.

On Sept 17, Malucelli set a fire in the basement of the house next to his home on Wonder Street. Malucelli pleaded guilty to the arson charge after Reno fire investigators presented evidence linking the suspect to the crime.

Fire Prevention Captain Tray Palmer told Adams in a written statement during sentencing that Malucelli exhibits traits of a serial arsonist. “Since May of 2009, there have been an above average number of arson fires, over 20, within a two-block radius of Malucelli’s residence. Indicators at the scene linked Malucelli as a potential suspect in at least 10 of the fires,” said Palmer.

Residents of the neighborhood would call the Reno Fire Department frequently terrified that somebody was going to set their homes on fire. There has not been one fire in this area since Malucelli went to jail on this latest arson charge.

Maucelli spent time in prison for first degree arson after setting fire to the dock of a commercial property on 4th Street in 2005. He was also sentenced to prison for an arson conviction in 1990.