Updated 12/08/2011 08:39 AM
Teen Charged with Murder and Arson for Deadly Fire
A Webster teen is in custody for setting a fire that killed his father and two brothers.
Fifteen-year-old Michael Pilato is charged with six counts of murder and one count of arson. Pilato allegedly poured gas in a home on Cardile Drive and then set fire to the house with intent to kill his family.
Michael's father, Carmen, and brothers Josh and Peter died in the fire.
The Webster School District says Joshua was a 6th grader at Spry Middle School. Peter was in 11th grade at BOCES 2. Their sister Elizabeth Pilato is an 8th grader at Spry. She jumped out of a second story window and is being treated at the hospital.
Court papers say Michael Pilato admitted his involvement in the crime.
Police say they'd been called to the house for other trouble before but say they had no information of any specific threats.
Pilato was arraigned in Webster Town court and is being held on no bail.
A judge ordered a mental evaluation for him before he's taken to a juvenile detention center.
Neighbors in Shock Over Deadly Fire
"Wow! Why, why did he do this? Why did he do this to those two parents that took him in and gave him a home," questioned Patti Pasquarella, a neighbor.
Those are questions many who live in the Webster neighborhood are asking.
"It's like what possesses a child to do that. Was he upset about something? Could he have gotten help prior?" Pasquarella asked.
Neighbors of the Pilato family say it’s sobering to see the now boarded up home at Cardile Drive, dark and empty.
"It's just really shocking that something like that could happen in this neighborhood," said Daniel Pasquarella, neighbor.
Tuesday night, neighborhood friends of the family visited the home to place flowers at the scene.
"I'm dropping off flowers just in memory of those that were lost because like I said I was extremely close with them and the fact that they're gone is just mind blowing," said Jessie Huther, a family friend.
Huther says what shocks her most – hearing her once close friend Michael was arrested and charged with setting the house on fire by dousing it with gasoline, knowing his family was inside.
"You were upset no matter what he'd always be there for you. He was such a good kid," said Huther.
"He seemed like a nice kid, I wouldn't expect it," said Jessica Pasquarella who went to Schroeder High School with Michael.
Some of the kids who stopped by to see the Pilato home were schoolmates of Joshua.
"I've known him since I was a little boy and he was my closest friend," said Jacob, Joshua’s friend.
"When I heard that he died. I really, really bawled my eyes out, I was really upset," said
Alexis Chiosa, a schoolmate of Joshua.
Neighbors say the home once represented the neighborhood hangout, a place to have fun. Now all they see is sadness.
View the Press Conference On the Arrest
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