NY: Discarded Joint Starts Fire That Destroys Two Buildings At Apartment Complex, Say Police

BETHLEHEM — Lawn debris ignited by a discarded marijuana cigarette caused the fire that destroyed two buildings in the Deer Run apartment complex, police said.

A 35-year-old man was charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly giving police a false written statement about Tuesday’s fire at the Equinox Court complex. Police said the joint the man was smoking at the complex sparked the fire, which quickly spread from the lawn debris to the complex’s buildings 9 and 11.

The region has gone days without rain, leaving vegetation dry. Fluffy cottonwood seeds that have fallen over the last week have been blamed for accelerating the spread of a number of local wildfires.

Flames ignited and ripped through the buildings sometime before 7:30 p.m. at the apartment complex, located in a cul-de-sac off Kenwood Avenue. By 9 p.m., the worst of the blaze was under control.

No one was injured, but eight families were displaced and 17 people were being assisted by the local American Red Cross chapter, according to the Red Cross, firefighters and police said earlier this week.

The man was given a ticket and ordered to appear in town court on June 30.



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