Schenectady County

Colonie police probe death of man in car fire at residence

Police report suicide is possible cause of death

A car fire early today in the driveway of a Colonie home claimed the life of an unidentified man, police said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but foul play is not suspected, Lt. Robert Winn of the Colonie Police Department said.

The fire was at 24 Garling Drive, the home of Gary Van Ness, 41, who in January was found in a wooded area off Route 9 in Saratoga Springs, police said. He had left the Four Winds medical facility earlier in the day and had been described as despondent.

Winn confirmed today that suicide was one of the possibilities.

“There are some indications that this may be an intentional act committed by the [victim],” Winn said.

The fire was called in at 7:12 a.m., with Verdoy Fire Department and Colonie EMS responding. There were early reports of an explosion, but Winn said the vehicle was intact and there was nothing to indicate anything other than a fire.

A female resident of the home tried to pull the man from the vehicle, but was overcome by the smoke, Winn said. She was taken to Albany Medical Center for treatment. An 8-year-old boy was also home at the time.

Police were unable to make a positive identification of the victim this morning, but said they had been unable to locate Gary VanNess.

Categories: News

Leave a Reply