California Professional Firefighters

Los Angeles Arsonist Denied Parole

Fallen LA City firefighter Tom Taylor

Due in large part to the engagement of firefighters from across the state, arsonist Mario Catanio’s request for parole was denied on Thursday, ensuring that this dangerous threat to society will remain behind bars.

In 1981, Catanio was paid $2,500 to set fire to a North Hollywood restaurant, Cugee's Cafe, as part of an insurance fraud scheme.

In the course of fighting that fire, eight Los Angeles City Firefighters were injured and one, Thomas Taylor, lost his life. Brother Taylor, a second-generation Firefighter, was only 34-years old when he was killed. He left behind a wife and two children who grew up without a father. Catanio, then a 42-year-old barber in Van Nuys, was arrested eight months later. He was sentenced in 1983 to 25 years to life in prison for murder and federal mail fraud.

WATCH: The arson murder of Brother Tom Taylor.

Since his conviction, Mario Catanio has consistently shown no remorse for his crime and he has never apologized for the actions that took Brother Taylor's life. Furthermore, Catanio remains a risk to public safety more than three decades after his conviction on murder and burglary.

In the weeks leading up to Catanio’s parole hearing, firefighters from across the state wrote in the state parole board, asking that this potentially dangerous criminal not be released onto the streets.

This written testimony was then bolstered by statements from United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112 President Frank Lima and Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph M. Terrazas, who both spoke at the March 11 hearing.

See the announcement from President Lima and Chief Terrazas here:

Background Information

WATCH: CPF Firevision - Keep Arsonist Behind Bars

Governor Brown's ruling denying parole to Mario Catanio from December 2012

Tom Taylor's story from the L.A. Fire Historical Archive

"Fireman's Comrades Mourn Death"

"Family, Friends, Co-Workers Remember Beloved Firefighter"