For Immediate Release: 7/26/2017 3:19 pm
Worcester, MA (July 26, 2017) – On July 25, 2017 at about 11:45 PM, Worcester Police officers were dispatched to the area of 12 Halmstad #1 for a report of a potential house fire in progress. Neighbors smelled smoke in the building and called 911. The Worcester Fire Department arrived, put out the small fire in the living room, and informed police that there was a deceased person in the living room.
Officers saw the resident, a fifty-four-year-old Worcester man, face down in the living room in his apartment. His lower body was badly burned and he appeared to have a head injury. The fire was apparently confined to a small area near the man. Paramedics pronounced the man deceased.
Approximately nine minutes after the initial call, another call came in reporting an intoxicated mall stumbling around in traffic on Greenwood St, which intersects with Halmstad St. Several officers checked the area for this male. At 12:30 AM, officers located a male who matched the description of the male, later identified as Brayan Flores, twenty-eight-years-old of 197 Vernon, at 15 Blackstone River Rd.
Mr. Flores, who appeared to be intoxicated, was behaving strangely and refusing officers’ commands to keep his hands out of his pockets. They noticed that he was attempting to conceal something in his waist, so they performed a pat frisk for weapons. Officers located a bag of cheese puffs in his waist, and a small “Torch” style lighter on the ground near him.
Due to Mr. Flores’ odd behavior, officers suspected that the items might be stolen. They went to the 7-Eleven store at 2 Blackstone River Rd to speak with the clerk. The clerk reported that a male matching the description of Mr. Flores had stolen a box of “Torch” lighters and other merchandise. Mr. Flores was identified by the clerk and placed under arrest for shoplifting.
At 12:35 AM, officers received a call for a fire behind 47 Blackstone River Rd. Officers responded and saw that a trailer behind the residence had been set on fire. The Worcester Fire Department was able to put out the fire, but the rear of 47 Blackstone River Rd was damaged. A resident of the building said that a male who appeared to be intoxicated was jiggling his side door handle and knocking on the door prior to the fire.
The death at 12 Halmstad Rd was referred to the Medical Examiner, who will determine whether it was a homicide. The Worcester Fire Department is investigating the cause and origin of the fires. Worcester Detectives obtained a search warrant for 12 Halmstad St #1, and they are still on scene. Detectives have confirmed that Mr. Flores knew the victim at 12 Halmstad St, but Mr. Flores is not currently charged with any crime in connection with the Halmstad St incident. Mr. Flores is currently charged with Shoplifting and will be arraigned in Worcester District Court.