Police charge 12-year-old with industrial blaze

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GASPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) – Five juveniles are facing charges after an industrial fire that destroyed a building in Gasport last month. New York State Police said a 12-year-old started the fire in a barrel on the third floor of the building, while with four other juveniles.

Police said the five juveniles, between the ages of 12 and 15 years old, entered the former Friend Manufacturing Corporation through an unlocked door on February 18th. According to police, one of the juveniles wanted to make a fire with a barrel, some paper, wood and a lighter.

The juveniles thought the fire was no longer active when they left the building, police said.

Niagara County emergency responders were called to the blaze around 7:25 a.m. the next day. It took firefighters about three hours to fight the blaze.

Police report learning details about the fire by going door to door in the Gasport neighborhood.

All five juveniles are charged with third-degree criminal trespass, and the 12-year-old is also charged with fourth-degree arson.

The building was most recently vacant and may have been used for storage however the property was a bustling machine company in the early 1900’s.

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