Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Pittsburgh Man Sentenced After Pleading Guilty To Setting Fire That Killed 3 Pittsburgh Firefighters in 1995
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to no further penalty after pleading guilty today to malicious destruction of property by fire resulting in death, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.
Senior United States District Judge David Cercone imposed the sentence on Gregory Brown, 44, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Brown served 20 years in state prison for his conviction on the arson that was the subject of this case. That conviction was vacated in 2016.
According to information provided to the court during today’s hearing, the defendant, then 17, set fire to the residential rental home located at 8361 Bricelyn Street in Pittsburgh’s East Hills neighborhood on February 14, 1995, which resulted in the deaths of Pittsburgh firefighters Thomas Brooks, Patricia Conroy and Marc Kolenda.
U.S. Attorney Chung stated, “Captain Thomas Brooks, and Firefighters Patricia Conroy and Marc Kolenda were dedicated public servants with families and friends who loved them. In 1995, these dedicated public servants died in the line of duty. Today, defendant Gregory Brown acknowledged under oath that the evidence as described in court establishes his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and is sufficient to secure his conviction. A conviction and waiver of appellate rights is important in securing justice for these public servants and their families and holds Gregory Brown responsible forever in the eyes of the law.”
“Arson is a very serious and violent crime, and in this case resulted in the tragic deaths of three Pittsburgh firefighters,” said Matthew Varisco, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “ATF and our experts will continue to work closely with our state and local partners to investigate these violent acts of arson and make sure those responsible are held accountable for their actions. I would like to commend the work of all the investigators and prosecutors in this case since this incident occurred.”
Assistant United States Attorney Shaun E. Sweeney and Special Assistant Rebecca Walker of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
United States Attorney Chung commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Allegheny County Fire Marshal, and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Gregory Brown.