Fulton County

Three youths charged in Mohawk Mills fire

Three youths have been charged with felony arson for allegedly starting a fire Sept. 20 inside a vac

Three youths have been charged with felony arson for allegedly starting a fire Sept. 20 inside a vacant Mohawk Mills building in the village.

Charged were Morgan Bronson, 17, of County Highway 110, in Broadalbin, and two boys, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff did not identify the boys due to their ages.

Bronson also was charged with criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor. He was issued an appearance ticket, released and is scheduled to appear in Broadalbin Village Court at a later date. The cases of the two boys were referred to Fulton County Family Court.

Authorities said the three youths entered the abandoned building at 5 Mill St. on the afternoon of Sept. 19 and proceeded to start a fire on the third floor. One of the youths told police he thought he had put the fire out before all three left the building.

The fire reignited on the floor and was spotted by alert neighbors, who called it in at 5 a.m. the next morning. The Broadalbin-Kennyetto Fire Company responded and triggered its mutual aid plan for dealing with a potentially catastrophic fire at the mill, which consists of 10 buildings on 12 acres.

Approximately 50 firefighters from five local companies arrived to fight the fire inside the 16,250-square-foot structure. Broadalbin-Kennyetto Fire Chief Scott Hall said they found the fire on the third and fourth floors in the middle of the four-story building, where it was consuming wood floorboards. Fire debris was also raining down on the second floor.

Firefighters put out the fire in about 10 minutes but had to spend several hours checking for embers. No one was injured. Hall said the fire was the first inside the mill since it became vacant several years ago. The buildings have sprinklers but no water in them; they also have no power.

Texas Torah Institute of Bayside, N.Y., bought the mill complex in 2008. The complex covers 12 acres and contains mostly brick buildings ranging in size from 2,016 square feet to 77,640 square feet and totaling 146,098 square feet.

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