Suspect arrested in arson that destroyed an abandoned mill, damaged surrounding buildings in Gloversville

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GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A man accused of setting fire to an abandoned mill was arrested by the Gloversville Police Department.

The investigation is ongoing for the fire that broke out at around 9:15 p.m. Monday night at a large, abandoned mill on Rose Street. Initially the Gloversville Fire and Johnstown Fire Departments responded to the call. A request for mutual aid was then made and Meco, Berkshire, Pleasant Square, Sammonsville and Sir William Johnson Fire Departments responded to assist in bringing the fire under control.

Crews remained on scene Tuesday morning working to put out flames and hot spots. The fire spread to nearby structures and vehicles. The mill was entirely destroyed as a result of the fire.

Lincoln J. Flansburg Jr., 44, of Gloversville, was arraigned Tuesday morning in Gloversville City Court on charges of arson and reckless endangerment. He is pleading not guilty. Flansburg has 4 prior felony convictions and will be remanded without bail. He will appear again in court on Monday.

Flansburg lives one street address away from the scene of the fire.

Police in the area blocked off Route 29A in both directions to divert traffic away from the scene of the fire. They said the road is expected to be blocked off throughout the day Tuesday.

“We’re lucky no one was injured,” Gloversville Mayor Vincent DeSantis told News10’s Giuliana Bruno.

DeSantis says the now destroyed wooden structure once was a tannery building. He explained that the owner died and the business went defunct. The county took it off the tax rolls, and it was in limbo ever since.

Gloversville used to be an industrial hub for leather goods, but after World War II, that industry moved overseas. DeSantis says when gloves stopped being manufactured locally, the scars of the industry, like the Rose Street building, were left on Gloversville.

DeSantis says while fires are never good news, he hopes to use this opportunity to turn the brownfield into something recreational for residents, through an EPA grant the city received last year.

According to 511NY, Route 29A in both directions remains closed until further notice. All lanes remain blocked from the Gloversville Middle School entrance to West Fulton Street Extension due to the structure fire

The investigation is ongoing and police said there is no threat to the community.

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