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Fire Chief Nailed With Arson Charges

Caught By Hidden Camera

A VOLUNTEER FIRE CHIEF ALONG WITH another volunteer firefighter were arrested Friday in connection with two suspicious fires in Oneida County, New York.  The arrests followed within hours after an arson in the town of Vienna.

The Syracuse Post-Standard reported:

On Friday, firefighters and state police responded to a report of a suspicious fire at a seasonal residence at 8177 Yager Road, in the town of Vienna. The fire was put out by members of the McConnellsville Fire Department but the house was heavily damaged by the fire, troopers said.

Post-Standard

An investigation into the incident revealed that someone was involved in starting the fire, troopers said. As a result of an investigation one man was arrested.

McConnellsville Fire Chief Howard Roache, 35, was charged with felony arson. He's accused of starting the fire, troopers said.

Also arrested that same day was another McConnellsville firefighter James Goold, 54, who has been charged with setting another building alight on February 2.  According to the police, Goold admitted setting the earlier fire while he was being questioned about Friday's arson.

The owner of the property in Vienna had been having some problems with vandals at his weekend retreat and had set up a hidden surveillance camera.  After Friday's fire the police viewed the tape and saw a man later identified as Roache on the property approx. 30 minutes before the fire was reported.

A recent series of suspicious fires in the area are now being re-examined with a focus on the pair's activities.

The Utica Observer-Dispatch has MORE.

They have both been charged with felony arson and were awaiting arraignment Friday evening.

WKTV Ch. 2 Utica provided this video report:

 

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