posted on June 13, 2011 08:55
UPDATE (Tuesday, 10:40am) by Geoff Redick
Authorities in LeRoy confirm that charges are pending against 42-year-old Paul Atkinson in yesterday's early-morning fire in LeRoy.
Police Chief Christopher Hayward said in a release this morning that investigators received a full statement from Atkinson, indicating that he had set the fire in his father's house. Atkinson told investigators that he and his father had been fighting, which led him to set the destructive fire.
Atkinson remains hospitalized at Strong Memorial in Rochester with burns to his body. Police authorities are working with the District Attorney's office to lodge charges against Atkinson.
UPDATE (1:35pm) by Geoff Redick
LeRoy Police Chief Christopher Hayward confirms to WBTA that this morning's fire "is being investigated as a suspicious condition." Hayward confirms that there are suspects at this time, though he could not name them.
Hayward tells WBTA that LeRoy Police have interviewed all of the occupants of the home, except for Paul Atkinson, who is currently hospitalized. Hayward expects that police investigators will speak with Paul Atkinson sometime after 3:30pm today.
Also, a second occupant has been hospitalized as a result of the fire. Richard Nelson, age unknown, was transported early this afternoon with what were described as "foot and rib injuries."
UPDATE (1:00pm) by Geoff Redick
New developments have emerged in relation to an early morning fire on Orchard Drive in LeRoy. We now have identification for the person who was injured.
Paul Atkinson suffered serious burns in the blaze. He is the son of homeowner Tom Atkinson. Paul was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Just hours before the fire, Paul posted this disturbing message on his Facebook account:
According to Facebook's timestamp, that message was posted at about 11:30pm, four hours before the fire was reported at 3:30am.
No cause has been determined for the blaze.
LeRoy Fire Chief Mike Sheflin says his department's response was swift enough to prevent total damage to the home.
"We had fire in the back, upper left portion of the house," he said. "Crews made entry through the front door, and contained it to one-and-a-half rooms. They did a nice job controlling it with an aggressive attack."
Sheflin says there is additional smoke and water damage to the home. A damage estimate was not immediately available.
A family cat was killed in the fire.
WBTA News' partner The Batavian contributed to this report.
ORIGINAL REPORT (8:56am):
One person was injured during an early morning fire on Orchard Drive in LeRoy.
The family dog alerted occupants of the Tom Atkinson home to smoke and flames around 3:30 this morning. Atkinson himself was away delivering papers.
His daughter and another occupant of the second floor escaped from a window. A third occupant suffered burns and was taken to Strong Memorial.
Two rooms of the house were extensively damaged.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The names of the injured person has not been released.