Testimony ends in Jay Street fire trial

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The trial surrounding a deadly 2015 fire continues in Schenectady County Court.

The defendant Kenneth Tyree was a building inspector at the time and is accused of ignoring safety hazards at the buildings on Jay street shortly before that fire.

Tyree was emotional on the stand as he spoke about the victim’s of the fire and the inspection he did the day before at 104 Jay Street.  Those emotions didn’t go away when he agreed to talk to NEWS10 ABC’s Ayla Ferrone outside of court.

“I’ll have uh. The people that died I could have been the last person to ever talk to them. So I feel bad. I’m sorry,” Tyree said.

These tearful words coming after similar ones on the stand.

The prosecution taking its turn questioning Tyree, asking him if fire safety in a building like 104 Jay Street is a matter of life and death.

That’s when Tyree began to get choked up, eventually sobbing audibly, and being consoled by loved ones during a short break.

The prosecution continued its questions by asking Tyree to demonstrate how he check the fire alarm system box on a mock system in the courtroom.

Tyree said there was a green light, and as far as he knew that meant it was working. He says that was the first time he had ever seen an alarm box.

Tyree’s attorney says he’s pleased with his client’s testimony.

“I thought things went well yesterday and today as far as his testimony goes,” Mark Gaylord said.

He is looking forward to summations on Friday.

“I think he’s got a good shot.”

Tyree faces charges of criminally negligent homicide, among others.

Closing arguments begin Friday at 10 a.m.

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