The fire reported by Anna Richardson of a structure fire in Cato on Baker Road on July 1st around 10:45pm has be ruled as intentional and an arrest has been made. 73 year old Clarence Richardson surrendered himself on July 3rd to the Cayuga County Public Safety Building where he was charged with Criminal Nuisance in the 2nd degree and released on an appearance ticket.
Approximately 9 separate Fire Department and Ambulance crews were activated as a result of a fire in a 60 ft. mobile home being used for storage at the Clarence and Anna Richardson residence, 10303 Baker Rd. Weedsport, N.Y. The structure sustained heavy damage.
An investigation conducted by the Cayuga County Fire Investigation Unit deemed the fire to be suspicious. On July 2nd Sheriff Detectives interviewed the home owner, Clarence Richardson, and learned that he was responsible for the fire and that it was intentionally set for the purpose of disposing of the building. When the fire burned through the roof of the structure Richardson became concerned for his other buildings and his home and directed his wife to call 911.
He is scheduled to appear in the Town of Cato Court on July 16th at 7:00pm. Criminal Nuisance is a misdemeanor charge that relates to endangering the health and safety of a considerable number of persons through an unlawful or unreasonable act. The charge was filed on behalf of the many volunteer firemen and other emergency services personnel that responded to the call and were responsible for extinguishing the fire. Since the building was not insured and since no other person had any financial interest in the structure the case does not meet the criteria for an arson charge.