FDNY: Fatal fire was arson


Fire marshals have arrested Wendy Walston, 46, for allegedly starting a Sept. 12 fire in an apartment at 2727 University Ave., which claimed the life of her apparent boyfriend, 50-year-old Thomas Galvin.

More than 100 firefighters rushed to the scene of the two-alarm fire, which left 10 residents critically injured, one a 4-year-old child, according to FDNY officials. 

The owner of the apartment, Sharon Ryan, 59, had always suspected Ms. Walston of causing the fire.

“Wendy set it on fire for not giving her $10,” she said two days following the blaze. “None of us were smoking and Tommy was passed out drunk. She could’ve started it in 10 minutes.”

Because officials were still investigating the fire when Ms. Ryan spoke with The Press, social workers advised Ms. Ryan to withhold any public accusation of Ms. Walston until the inquiry was complete. 

NYPD detectives worked jointly with fire marshals throughout the investigation. Ms. Walston is being charged with manslaughter, arson, reckless endangerment and assault, according to the indictment filed by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.  

“This senseless fire took the life of one man, and nearly took the lives of several others,” Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said.  “I commend our Fire Marshals for their relentless efforts to find and apprehend the person responsible for this callous act.”