Glen Midbo, 51, is free on 10 thousand dollars bond.
The Annadale Diner owns the abandoned home. Witnesses saw the fire start.
"Someone ran in said they saw someone running from the building and then the fire started," the owner, Steve Bakousis, said.
Neighbors say there's been a string of suspicious abandoned home fires, but this appears to be the first where police have charged anyone with setting them.
The retired fireman's attorney, Mario Gallucci, issued a statement:
"Glen Midbo was a tireless firefighter prior to his retirement and he completely denies these allegations...."
It's not clear why anyone would want to deliberately burn the building. The neighboring diner was about to tear it down. There's no insurance.