Man gets year in jail for starting huge Cohoes fire

June 26, 2018 01:31 PM

ALBANY – Inspired by a reality TV show, the man who wanted to make his own sword is now serving one year in jail for causing a massive fire in Cohoes.

Around 2 p.m. Thursday, November 30, 2017, John Gomes, 51, went behind his apartment building on Remsen St., found a steel barrel and started a fire. He was shaping a piece of steel when the wind kicked up and embers flew. That ignited wooden porches and the fire spread.


He would later say he was inspired by “Forged in Fire,” a show on the History Channel.

Three buildings would have to come down and many others were affected by flames, smoke and water damage. A State of Emergency was declared for a short time in Cohoes by the Mayor. No one got hurt.

On March 14, Gomes agreed to a plea deal with the Albany County District Attorney's Office that would mean a year in jail.  On Tuesday, June 26, Gomes didn’t say much as he was formally sentenced by Judge William Carter. Gomes begins his one year in the Albany County Jail, the District Attorney said.

Additionally, he was ordered to pay restitution, which he cannot. So he agreed to a Confession of Judgment which means if he comes into money through inheritance or lottery he would owe $620,709.69.


WNYT Staff

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