DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Dunkirk man has been charged with causing a fire at the vacant Altech Wire Mill on West Lucas Avenue.
The fire began around 7 p.m. on Sunday and was very smoky. Firefighters forced their way into the building and found a small room had been filled with wire. They were able to quickly extinguish the flames, though there was significant damage to the room.
Dunkirk Police set up a perimeter, feeling this was an arson fire. They located 32-year-old Luis Reyes a short time later and placed him under arrest. It is alleged that Reyes filled an old shipping barrel with copper wire then lit it on fire to melt off the insulation, intending to sell the wire for scrap afterwards.
Investigators believe the fire got out of control and Reyes then fled. Police say they found him Reyes with the tools needed to commit this crime.
He has been charged with third degree burglary, fourth degree arson, attempted petit larceny, and possession of burglar's tools. He was taken to Chautauqua County Jail without bail.
Police say this is the second time in one week that firefighters and police officers were called to the building, and the fourth time so far this year. The public is encouraged to call police is they notice any suspicious activity.
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