Homes, companies and cars: fires have become a coincidence in Reggio Emilia. Since the maxi trial at the ‘Ndrangheta ended at least 200 fires (even on rainy days)

Homes, companies and cars: fires have become a coincidence in Reggio Emilia. Since the maxi trial at the ‘Ndrangheta ended at least 200 fires (even on rainy days)
Homes, companies and cars: fires have become a coincidence in Reggio Emilia. Since the maxi trial at the ‘Ndrangheta ended at least 200 fires (even on rainy days)

At least two hundred fires noteworthy in the past three years, in the province of Reggio Emilia, equally divided between vehicles, homes and businesses. About twenty are surely malicious, thirty certainly accidental, but in between is the purgatory of flames that burn dozens of cars and vans at night, farms and agricultural activities even when it rains, roofs of houses still under construction. Then mechanical workshops, dealerships, industrial companies. With damages for millions of euros and causes that often remain confined to the realm of hypotheses.

THE NUMBERS – The vehicles burned in the last two night fires are still smoking: a van Mercedes Sprinter owned by a company whose owners are of Calabrian origin, in the municipality of Fabbrico, and a Ford Focus of a Venetian living in Reggio. In the case of Fabbrico, the inhabitants of the area heard the sound of a car moving away at high speed after the roar. The overall picture relating to the last three years, from the judgment of the trial Aemilia to date, it is built with press reports that draw the most significant events among the thousands of interventions carried out by the fire brigade. With data up 14% in 2019 and of 7% also in 2020, despite the lockdown. It is not a period that we have chosen at random because the process at the ‘Emilian ndrangheta had highlighted how much the “fire languageWas a characteristic feature of the clan. For the “meaning immediately perceived by the interested parties, which transcends the relevance in itself of the episode”, said the judge Alberto Ziroldi already in 2015, with the arrest order for over one hundred people. The Public Prosecutor is even more explicit Marco Mescolini who, faced with the myriad of cases left without explanation, wrote: “We must understand the fire language, in which one of the most deadly forms is concentrated in which the intimidation capacity of the association is expressed and strengthened “.

CARS – One of the most sensational episodes dealt with in Aemilia is that of the fire at the headquarters of the Bonifazio Trasporti srl of Reggiolo, where in November 2012 nine trucks went up in smoke with an arson attack that “has no precedent in Italy”, The acts say. At the base was one extortion case linked to a debt of 100 thousand euros which involved big-name pieces of the Emilian clan: Nicolino Sarcone, Giuseppe Giglio, Antonio Silipo. After the end of the trial, many equally striking facts have happened. The first takes place on the night of December 4, 2018, with the destruction of the company’s three warehouses “Supply and prints“In the municipality of Casalgrande. In the thirty subsequent fires that hit industrial activities, the violent fire at the dealership stands out Auto Zatti of Brescello on May 6, 2019, with about forty cars destroyed, the roof collapsed, six people intoxicated and a seriously injured firefighter. On 6 August 2020 it’s up to the dealership Citroen of Pieve Modolena, on the outskirts of Reggio, where at 4 am some of them burn under an awning cars for sale and only thanks to the alarm launched by a security guard it is possible to save the other 200 parked. On 24 October 2020, the firefighters run with seven teams to tame the flames that rage in the company’s 1500 square meter warehouse Agriservice, in the food area of ​​Reggio Emilia. Agricultural machinery, equipment and gardening equipment must be destroyed, crushed by the collapsing roof. There is talk of flames from a barrel of exhausted oil and the newspapers define the damage as “gigantic”. On January 17, 2021, the flames at the main depot of the public transport company Seta, near the Campovolo of Reggio Emilia, flare up in the dark. They are involved 22 buses 13 of which completely destroyed, with damage of three million euros. Overheating is assumed at the basis of a short circuit.

LAQUINTA’S LAWYER – The short circuit is the most inflated explanation, when the causes are not clear, for the many fires of cars, vans and mopeds, in the car parks and garages of the province. The Reggio Chronicles document it 62 between October 2018 and the same month of 2021. Among the few cases reported to the anti-mafia district directorate of Bologna, there is that of Mercedes Glc of the lawyer Pasquale Muto, burned in Reggiolo on 7 August this year late at night, in front of the residence where the lawyer lives. Pasquale Muto in the Aemilia trial is defender of Giuseppe Iaquinta, the businessman sentenced to 13 years on appeal. After the fire, the lawyer Muto, according to the newspapers, declared himself “calm” and excluded in the most categorical way that the fact is connected to some criminal act.

AUTOCOMBUSTION – Why and how stationary cars burn in parking lots is an Emilian-Lombard mystery that resonates in Aemilia and in the connected Pisces process to the Cutrese clan established in Mantua. On the left bank of the Po is a firefighter, after yet another fire for “self-combustion“, Who ironically asks a journalist:” In your opinion, the car manufacturers are in total debacle building cars that burn? Do they make them fake? ” On the right bank, on the other hand, a literary case is the fire of one Bmw series 7. It is the car of Michele Colacino, trusted man of the boss Romolo Villirillo who fell from grace and banned by Great Aracri. Alfredo Amato and Gabriele Valerioti are accused of the fire, which took place in Reggio Emilia in 2011, pinned down by the Carabinieri at the scene of the incident thanks to wiretapping. The two, however, defend themselves with great skill, claiming that they were in the parking lot, but that their real goal was steal the safe of the local supermarket.

THE TALE OF THE REPENTANT – The Aemilia trial also explains how you can burn a car without leaving any trace of willful misconduct, and the method becomes topical in fires involving farms and round bale warehouses. A real plague, with over thirty fires in the last three years and damages for millions of euros. The cursed month is May 2020, when in twenty days at least ten farms from the foothills to the Po are hit by flames. The most serious case in Bibbiano, with over 2000 round bales reduced to ashes. Another period of fire is September 2019, with four fires in a month and with the record of 3000 round bales burned in Reggiolo in a company already hit by flames years before.

The most recent case takes place on the morning of 6 September 2021 in an agricultural field of Sant’Ilario on the border with Parma. The flames rise from a mound of scrub but a resident of the area manages to stop the fire with buckets of water. The carabinieri intervene and find some on the spot bottles full of gasoline, the so-called molotov bomb, and tablets of “little devil”, The highly flammable material that is used to ignite flames in stoves. Thanks to the cameras, a 31-year-old hauler was identified and reported for arson and abusive carrying of arms, arrested with the devil and a working taser gun in his pocket. Years earlier he had been the collaborator of justice Antonio Valerio to explain to prosecutors how you can start a fire with the little devil without leaving a trace: “You take a plastic tank, fill it with petrol and diesel, place it with a little devil lit on it. The little devil is consumed, until it pierces the tank and jumps everything. Go there Scientific and finds nothing! They find no traces ”.

THE STRATEGY – Finally, there are the fires that hit homes and houses under construction, starting from the roofs to get to the garages. 61 are the most significant in the three-year period and in this segment there are also two victims. I am a Moroccan husband and wife, who died in the fire of 10 December 2018 that started from the cellars of a building in via Turri: one of the Reggio Emilia high immigration most problematic of the city. The flames in the night found many families unprepared and registered 38 intoxicated, some serious. The bodies of the victims residing on the second floor were on the stairs: died of asphyxiation. For that fire, the owner of some apartments who had debts with the condominium was investigated for manslaughter.

However, the roofs of houses under construction, where nobody lives yet, burn very often in Reggio Emilia. It is a well-known story in the chronicles of Aemilia, which tell us about characters like Gaetano Blasco (22 years and 11 months in prison on appeal) who accompanied construction contractors on tour around the province who were reluctant to contract out the construction of roofs to his company. He showed them the construction sites where he had set fire to those who did not accept his supplies. He tells the investigators in great detail Baraku Valbon, an Albanian builder who then entered into partnership with Blasco: “He accompanied me to the construction site to show me the fire and told me clearly that it was he who had burned the roof, regretting that the fire had not taken well”. Also many of those fires are then attributed, for the miracles that produce silence and intimidation, to self-combustion due to the heat. Roofs and attics are on fire after the end of the trial in a good half of the 42 municipalities of the province. Even when, as in Boretto on the banks of the Po, the flames start at night, in an empty house, while it is raining outside.

PREV it’s not over with Evergrande. Now the giant Country Garden is shaking
NEXT Pif and Francesco Piccolo in Moments of negligible (in) happiness at the Gaber Theater