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Friday, March 6, 2015


GASPORT — The New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation have arrested five juveniles in connection to the fire on Feb. 19, at the vacant Friend Manufacturing Corporation 4441 Prospect St.

After conducting over two dozen interviews, in an old-fashioned method of going door to door in the Gasport neighborhood, BCI Investigators were able to gather enough information which lead to the arrests of five juveniles between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

During the investigation it was revealed that; between 2 and 6 p.m. on Feb. 18, the juveniles entered the building through an unlocked door. Once inside they went to the third floor and located a “burn barrel,” some paper and wood. One of the juveniles wanted to start a “hobo fire” in the barrel, starting the fire with his lighter. The juveniles later attempted to put out the fire and believing the fire was no longer active, they left the building.

On the morning of Feb. 19, the Niagara County Dispatch Center received the report of the fire at about 7:24 a.m. Firefighters from Gasport, Terry’s Corners, Middleport, South Lockport along with Niagara County Fire Investigation Team, the New York State Police, Rural Metro and Tri-Town Ambulance, responded to the scene. Due to the fire, the structure and contents have been deemed to be a total loss.

The juveniles have all been charged with third-degree criminal trespass, with an additional charge of fourth degree a given to the 12-year-old that started the fire. All were issued appearance tickets directing them to appear at Niagara County Probation on Thursday.

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