KNOX, N.Y. – The man who set his house on fire in the Town of Knox and threatened first responders Wednesday night is in police custody.
Police say 49-year old Kenneth Fortuin set his house at 75 Saddlemire Rd. on fire late Wednesday night and threatened first responders. The man allegedly called 911 saying he was heavily armed.
Police said he cut down trees in his driveway to prevent firefighters and police from entering his property.
Fortuin threatened to leave the scene, so officials were advised to look out for his Chevy Silverado. But State Police said the man stayed on his property and was located in a field near the residence in his vehicle.
"He made comments he left the perimeter. There was not a lot of credence given to that, but just as a precaution we wanted the patrols out on the road to have that information," said Lt. Keith Golden of New York State Police.
He was heavily armed while officials negotiated with him, but he turned himself in to police custody around 7 a.m. Thursday. Officials said he surrendered peacefully.
Police said the incident started because of "personal" reasons, but did not go into detail.
Fortuin lived alone at his property, according to police, and there were no injuriesto anyone involved in the incident. At least one structure located on the property at the scene of the incident did suffer structural damage due to the inability of fire officials to properly fight the fire.
The investigation is ongoing, and investigators say he is charged with third-degree Arson and Obstructing Firefighting Operations. Additional charges could be added.A judge entered a not guilty plea for Fortuin. He has been remanded to Albany County Jail with no bail set.
341 Northern Blvd., Albany, NY 12204
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