Saratoga Springs police determine Woodlawn Ave. fire to be arson - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Saratoga Springs police determine Woodlawn Ave. fire to be arson


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Saratoga Springs Police say there is now a person or persons of interest in connection to an arson fire on Woodlawn Avenue over the summer.

Police say no arrests have been made yet, but they do believe the fire which broke out in a row of historic homes at 106-108 Woodlawn Avenue in July was deliberately set.

The latest development was announced by police on Tuesday. The fire has been under investigation since it occurred.

More than 30 residents, including a number of Saratoga Race Course employees, were displaced after the early morning hours of July 28th. There were approximately 16 resident's home at the time of the fire and they were all evacuated without injury.

Nearly 100 firefighters, with 15 fire trucks, battled the flames that tore through four row homes on Woodlawn Avenue. In order to extinguish the hot spots in their entirety, crews were on the scene for more than 12 hours. Three firefighters were transported to Saratoga Hospital and treated for heat and smoke related issues.

Police on Tuesday say the fire had numerous points of origin, and that ignitable liquids were found at the scene.  A search warrant was executed in a home in the town of Wilton just 21 hours after the fire began.

The Assistant Fire Chief says the fire was mostly in the rear of 108 Woodlawn Avenue because of the lack of firewall in the construction of the home.

The first 911 call was made by a tenant from 108 Woodlawn Avenue at 4:01 a.m. as the building was catching fire, according to Assistant Chief John Catone.

"As she runs out of the building she turns and takes a picture," he said.

It's a picture Catone says turned out to be crucial to their investigation in determining the fire as arson.

As police looked at the point of origin and interviewed tenants, they gathered information that someone had possibly set the apartments on fire.

"Based on our investigation and the evidence we collected, we applied for a search warrant, were granted that, executed that search warrant and I'm going to leave it at that," he said. "If we wanted to go out make an arrest we could do that, our ultimate goal is to put the person or people responsible in prison."

The investigation is still ongoing, and investigators say the evidence will need to fall into place before an arrest can be made.

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