Johnstown fire officially ruled accidental

The Thursday fire that destroyed four buildings along West State Street in Johnstown and damaged sev
An official photographs the aftermath of Thursday’s fire along West State Street in Johnstown on Friday morning.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
An official photographs the aftermath of Thursday’s fire along West State Street in Johnstown on Friday morning.

Thursday’s West State Street fire was officially ruled accidental today, and city Fire Chief Bruce Heberer said the contractors who started it won’t be charged with a crime.

The blaze consumed four old multi-story mill buildings, and burning embers started another dozen fires in the neighborhood.

“It took right off. They had to run for their lives,” Heberer said of the two workers.

Nathan Auty and Nate Clark of Land Escapes were using a metal demolition saw to salvage metal in the old Gordon Finishing building, “and sparks from that caused the fire,” Heberer said.

Initial reports indicated the two were using a torch, which was incorrect, “but it was the same theory,” the chief said.

The owner of the buildings, Jerry Kuziw of Towaco, NJ, was apparently not insured, Heberer said.

“We’re not sure if the guys who were doing the salvaging had insurance,” he added.

Categories: Schenectady County

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