Overnight fire in Lansingburgh deemed suspicious

LANSINGBURGH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A fire that almost claimed the life of an elderly woman and left more than a dozen homeless may have been an act of revenge.

Firefighters responded to a fire around 2:30 a.m. Friday at 250 Second Ave.

One of the many displaced residents, Debra Febra, said she witnessed the fire firsthand and heard a loud explosion. Febra said she frantically knocked on her neighbors’ doors to wake them up.

“We could’ve all died,” she said. “It wasn’t an empty building. We could’ve died. If I wasn’t up watching T.V., I would’ve been dead. My neighbors would’ve been dead. There were babies there. We had an elderly lady that was trapped and she couldn’t get out.”

David Dubois (Troy PD)
David Dubois (Troy PD)

The American Red Cross and Mayor Lou Rosamilia were at the scene Friday morning to look at the damage and pay respect to those who lost their home.

“If there’s someone of that nature who has total disrespect for human life – and that’s what I see in this situation – if it was an arson, just total disrespect for human life, we are going to work vigilantly; get that person or those involved and put an end to it once and for all,” Rosamilia said.

Officials close to the investigation said the intended target of the fire appears to be a Level One sex offender named David Dubois Jr. He lived on the second floor where the fire started.

Dubois was convicted in 2004 of Sexual Misconduct. Troy police said he was arrested again in January for failing to register.

“I know I heard, ‘You rapist,’” Febra said. “I know I heard that, and I said, ‘What the hell is going on?’ and I saw it go boom! And I said, ‘Oh, my God.’”

Volunteers from the American Red Cross provided emergency aid to multiple families, totaling 13 people. The Red Cross provided financial assistance for food and clothing to ten adults and three children. Volunteers also provided temporary shelter to ten of those displaced by the fire.

“So, yes, I’m angry,” Febra said. “Settle your disputes with the police. Don’t start a fire.”

All residents made it out of the building, but according to Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett, one woman in cardiac arrest was rescued from the first floor. Crews were able to restore the woman’s breathing, and she was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital. Garrett said she is doing remarkably well and currently recovering.

Troy police said there have been more than a dozen intentional fires in this particular area of Lansingburgh since last July. The unsolved arsons remain a concern for residents.

Authorities said they are continuing to investigate the fire but are not saying if they believe it is related to last summer’s fires.

No arrests have been made.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s