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What you need to know for 05/27/2017

Knox man faces prison for burning down his house

Knox man faces prison for burning down his house

The Knox man who burned down his residence and several other buildings on his property and then thre
Knox man faces prison for burning down his house
Embers from what used to be houses on a property at 75 Saddlemire Road in the town of Knox illuminate the sky early Feb. 6.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

The Knox man who burned down his residence and several other buildings on his property and then threatened to shoot responding firefighters faces up to seven years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday in Albany County Court.

Appearing before Judge Peter A. Lynch, 49-year-old Kenneth Fortuin pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree arson, a Class C felony, and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing firefighting operations.

On Feb. 5, Fortuin burned down his residence and other buildings on Saddlemire Road. Responding firefighters were first thwarted by several large trees cut down across a roadway, blocking access to the property. Fortuin then told first responders he had a loaded handgun and would shoot if they attempted to extinguish the blazes.

Sentencing is slated for June 19, and Fortuin remains in Albany County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. He faces 21⁄3 to seven years in prison when sentenced. In addition, he has been ordered to pay nearly $150,000 in restitution.

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