Saratoga County

Saratoga fire follows resident’s arrest, domestic disturbance

Police and fire investigators are looking into a fire they consider suspicious that broke out after
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City police and fire investigators are looking into a fire that broke out after a woman scuffled with an officer and was arrested at the same address early this morning.

Police Lt. Gregory Veitch said police were called to 102 Congress St. for a dispute at 3:30 a.m. Outside, they talked with Justine Byrd, 22, who lives in an apartment above Legends Cafe in the building. Veitch said Byrd shoved officer Kevin Johnson and was placed under arrest, then slipped a handcuff and hit Johnson in the face, cutting him above his right eye.

Byrd was taken into custody and charged with felony second-degree assault, misdemeanor resisting arrest and second-degree harassment, a violation.

About 5 a.m., police and fire departments were called to the fire in a second-floor apartment at 102 Congress St. Fire Chief Robert Cogan said the fire appeared to start at two places in the bedroom of apartment 3, a sign that it was deliberately set.

“Normally, if you have an accidental fire, in most cases there’s going to be one point of origin,” Cogan said.

One of the fires appeared to have been started on the bed, Cogan said fire investigators told him.

Cogan noted that a domestic dispute at the home had preceded the fire.

“There’s a very good possibility that the domestic disturbances are related to the fire,” he said.

The other apartments on the second floor sustained only minor smoke damage, and Legends Cafe was able to open today.

Cogan said no one was injured in the blaze, and the investigation has been turned over to the police department.

The damage appears to be repairable, but a city code enforcement officer will determine if residents of the other apartments can remain, he said.

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