Following this week's arrest of a Manhattan man for billing Nassau County business owners for what police described as a series of fraudulent fire inspections, the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office wants residents and businesses owners alike to know no fire inspector will ever request payment in the field — and that if you’re suspicious an “inspector” isn’t who they say they are, report it.

Nassau County police said that between February 2020 and last August, Michael Carrion, 57, visited businesses in Rockville Centre, New Hyde Park, Great Neck and Valley Stream and fraudulently identified himself as a fire marshal, firefighter or fire investigator to conduct inspections. He then collected payment for the inspections and fines he imposed, netting more than $3,200, police said.

After a joint investigation by members of the First, Third, Fifth and Sixth squads, Nassau police said Carrion was arrested without incident. He has been charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, second-degree scheme to defraud, four counts of second-degree criminal impersonation and four counts of petit larceny.

“We have had cases like this from time to time,” Nassau County Chief Fire Marshal Michael F. Uttaro said Wednesday, noting that the fake inspectors usually tell business owners they’ve been sent by the Fire Marshal’s Office or a local fire department to conduct an inspection or follow up on a complaint or violation. These fraudsters then demand “exorbitant” fees for service, sometimes even charging for “bogus equipment and inspection tags.” The fake inspections sometimes involve the sale of fire extinguishers or fire suppression systems, Uttaro said.

“We advise all business owners … that fire marshals and local fire department inspectors and building pre-planners will have proper agency issued identification,” Uttaro said. Fire marshals also will be in uniform — and have badges and name-tag identifications, he said.

Contractors licensed to service or inspect fire protection systems such as kitchen hood extinguishing systems, portable fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems, will have Fire Marshal’s Certificate of Fitness identification cards that, in Nassau, include a photo, and are issued by the Fire Marshal’s Office, Uttaro said.

If a business owner is suspicious of a would-be inspector, Uttaro said, they can deny the service — and, in Nassau, contact the Fire Marshal’s Office for verification.

That can be done 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling 516-742-3170.

Businesses owner can also reach out to their local town fire marshals, local fire departments and town inspectors for verifications.

Carrion was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead.

 Bethpage drums tipster … State pension gains … New oyster reef Credit: Newsday

Updated 27 minutes ago Hot and humid weekend ... Bethpage drums tipster ... Family accepts son's HS diploma ... FeedMe: Smithtown farmers market

 Bethpage drums tipster … State pension gains … New oyster reef Credit: Newsday

Updated 27 minutes ago Hot and humid weekend ... Bethpage drums tipster ... Family accepts son's HS diploma ... FeedMe: Smithtown farmers market

Latest videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME