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Man faces arson charges in Queens fires

A Woodside, Queens, man has been charged with setting a spate of fires over the weekend in his neighborhood which damaged a number of homes and business, as well as the car of a former City Council member, city officials said Tuesday.

Devon J. Page, 22, of 39-32 50th St., was charged with three counts of second-degree arson, two counts of third-degree arson and one count of fifth-degree arson in connection with the fires, which were set early Sunday morning, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Page was awaiting arraignment late Tuesday in Queens Criminal Court and faces a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison. His defense attorney, Michael Horn, didn't return a telephone call seeking comment.

Prosecutors didn't list any motive for the arsons. Brown said in the prepared statement that the fires were mostly set at the exterior of the buildings. One fire was set in black trash bag in front of a house on 49th Street, just below the bedroom window of a 3-year-old child, said Brown. No one was injured in any of the fires.

One of the suspect fires occurred at Donato's Pizza, 50-22 39th Ave., which was closed at the time, investigators said. Page also is charged with tossing a lighted cigarette into the backseat of 2008 Mercury Mariner owned by former city councilman Eric N. Gioia, causing extensive damage. Page also faces a petty larceny charge because two pairs of sunglasses were taken from the car, said Brown.

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