Man facing multiple charges following string of fires in Elmwood Village

Garage fires

UPDATE:  The Erie County DA’s Office announced Friday the defense requested a forensic exam. Wasyl remains in jail without bail.

He will return to court Monday, May 13 at 9:30 a.m. 

ORIGINAL: Officials in Buffalo have made an arrest after several fires in the Elmwood Village.

Buffalo fire crews began extinguishing garage fires around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

That took place in a garage behind a home on Cleveland Ave., right across the street from Canisius High School.

The damage to that garage added up to at least $100,000.

Roughly two hours later, crews headed to a home on Highland Ave.

Crews spent three hours there. Significant damage was done to not only the garage, but the cars inside of it.

“What I was most concerned about was the flames and the fire moving from the garage to either our house or the house next door,” said Kurt Sajda, who lives in the home.

No more than 10 minutes after responding to that one, crews went to 831 Elmwood Ave. for another garage fire.

That was followed by another call at Penhurst Pl., where a total of $90,000 in damage was done to a garage and its contents.

Finally, another fire broke out at a different garage on Cleveland Ave.

The total damage for all the fires is estimated at $828,000. Two firefighters had minor injuries. 

Fire officials later announced that Nathan Wasyl, 20, of Buffalo, had been apprehended in the area of Middlesex Rd.

He was charged with trespassing, reckless endangerment, burglary, criminal mischief, and third-degree arson.

It is known that he was traveling on a bicycle, and it is not clear if anyone else was involved.

“He allegedly, it looks like, went into cars that were in the garages and was attempting to take change out of the cars,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. “Then, after he exited the car, he decided for whatever reason to light a fire.”

Hear what fire officials said below:

Wasyl was remanded without bail after appearing in court. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office intends to recuse itself from the case since one of the victims works in that office.

 He’s scheduled to return on Friday, April 12 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. 

If convicted, Wasyl could face up to 75 years in prison. 

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