Troy mayor: City 'vigorously' investigating suspicious fires

July 18, 2017 06:43 PM

Troy’s mayor is creating a task force in response to a series of suspicious fires in that city. The most recent one on 6th Avenue kept firefighters busy early Tuesday morning. That brings the total to six suspicious fires within the last month. The mayor says they have increased police patrols, but they need the help of the residents.

"It's a safety hazard for the entire community. They're trying to build this neighborhood up and they've got things like this going on," explained Bradley Wedge, who is renovating the house next door.

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As NewsChannel 13 first reported on Monday, sources say the fire on 2nd Avenue was set deliberately with an accelerant. The police chief said Tuesday that accelerants were also used in other recent fires.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden announced an arson task force that includes state, fire and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, plus more police.

"The north central area, we've doubled the number of patrol officers," explained Troy Police Chief John Tedesco. "There are certainly a lot of extra details that have been taking place there, so at any given time we have between eight and 16 officers in that area.

Mayor Madden says they're in a heightened sense of awareness, given the series of suspicious fires in 2014 that plagued the neighborhood. He says residents can help. 

"Report open vacants. Take a look at the vacant property in your neighborhood. If the boards are off the windows, or if the door is open, if the building is otherwise accessible, please call the Bureau of Code Enforcement," he advised.

The mayor says call police if you see or hear anyone on vacant properties.

"Trying to bring the neighborhood back to life. This will be a nice two-family apartment. That one potentially could be, but things like this are a little off-putting," acknowledged Wedge.


WNYT Staff

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