Two charged with arson in Granville apartment fire
GRANVILLE, N.Y. - The investigation into the report of a fire at an apartment building in Granville on Monday has resulted in the arrest of two Saratoga County men for arson, the Granville Police Department says.
Just before 2 a.m. Monday, fire officials responded to 44 Mettowee Street for reports of a fire burning in a common-area stairwell leading to the upstairs apartments.
Granville fire determined the fire was suspicious investigating the cause. After investigators interviewed residents on scene, police have arrested 44-year-old Stephen Gyarmathy and 56-year-old Joseph Guerrier, both of 6 Plank Road in Porters Corners, on Tuesday.
Police say Gyarmathy's ex-girlfriend, who is related to Guerrier, and child lived in the upstairs apartment. He was upset with the woman, saying the child would not be returning home for visitation, so police allege he and Guerrier drove to Granville with a gas can and poured gasoline at the base of the back stairway and up the flight of stairs, the only exit for the upstairs apartments.
Police say Gyarmathy then poured gas on the back porch and ignited the scene causing a smoke detector to go off in the stairway.
State police say the child was not home at the time of the fire.
The residents of the ex-girlfriend's second-floor apartment, who originally called 911, had to evacuate on to the front porch roof and were taken down with a fire department ladder.
Gyarmathy ran from the scene, taking off in the car with Guerrier back to their home in Porters Corners where they were subsequently interviewed by police and confessed to the crime.
Both men are charged with Arson 2nd-degree and Reckless Endangerment 1st-degree and remanded without bail due to each having two prior felony convictions.
Fire officials woke the residents on the ground floor, knocked down the fire, and evacuated the second-floor rear apartment residents.
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