Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Long, Hot Summer Rolls On

Another abandoned building, another suspicious fire:

Arson Task Force investigators continue their investigation today into a suspicious fire that broke out in an abandoned apartment building in Cornhill late Wednesday night.

Fire Chief Russ Brooks said this morning task force officials might determine fire's cause sometime today.

Brooks said the task force began investigating the fire even before it was fully extinguished, interviewing spectators, analyzing the burn and looking for evidence of accelerants.

He reiterated his statement from Wednesday night that, “When you have a vacant house that does not have power to it, which means there is no source of ignition, that narrows down the possibilities.

If Chief Brooks is correct in his assessment this is Utica's 20th arson this year. So far the arson epidemic has killed four people and turned twenty buildings into smouldering piles of rubble, a toll that more than justifies the reformation of the Arson Task Force. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a single arrest or even a named suspect in any of the fires.