Police: Man who tried to make fireworks facing felonies after fire destroys homes in Albion

Orleans County

ALBION, N.Y. (WIVB) — Albion police have made an arrest following a fire that destroyed homes on W. Main St. this past Saturday.

Around 4:30 p.m., police responded to the scene after receiving calls about explosions, smoke and fire. When officers got to the scene, they say explosions continued to occur for 15 or 20 minutes.

Police say Gary Tarr, 56, had been dismantling fireworks and mixing substances in the garage in an attempt to make homemade fireworks. This led to the explosions.

A law enforcement officer’s body camera video from the scene showed the results, including thick black smoke and fire which destroyed two homes. A third home was also damaged, and is expected to be deemed a total loss.

According to first responders, between six and 12 people were displaced from their homes.

The situation prompted a response from crews in Orleans County, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and the FBI.

Tarr has been charged with five felony counts and three misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment. He was also charged with three counts of arson and criminal mischief.

Police do not believe more charges will rise from this incident.

During a conference on Friday morning, they shared an image of two of the explosive devices, noting that they were about the size of toilet paper rolls. They believe more of these devices are in the community.

Anyone who knows of explosive devices like those is asked to call 911 and not touch the devices. Those who report the devices will not be prosecuted, and authorities will work to safely remove them.

Tarr, who police say had no intention to harm anyone or their property, expressed remorse for what occurred. He was the only one to suffer injuries, including hearing loss. His injuries are not life-threatening.

Tarr has no previous criminal record. He will be in court on March 2 after being released on an appearance ticket.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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