Court docs: Woman burned crosses, sprayed swastikas in North Side arson spree

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - A woman accused of setting a series of fires in Syracuse’s North Side neighborhood is said to have burned crosses and spray painted swastikas at the scene, according to court documents.

36-year-old Tenea Grant was charged with three counts of arson for allegedly starting fires near or in vacant homes.

The arson charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Police say Grant started the fires by using an accelerant and then igniting wooden crosses at the scene. She then allegedly placed the crosses on the porches of some of these properties or on the grass in front of another structure. 

The three fires, all relatively close, were reported between 8:24 p.m. and 8:46 p.m. on Wednesday.

The first three scenes being investigated include:

  • 2300 block of Lodi Street – a grassy area. The fire went out on its own causing no damage.
  • 2422 Lodi Street – a vacant home left with minor damage on the porch.
  • 424 Sunset Avenue – a vacant home with significant damage.

On Friday, Police found evidence of a fourth fire along the 500 block of Kirkpatrick Street, which caused minor damage before the fire went out on its own. Investigators believe it was set the same night as the other three fries.

Grant was observed on a surveillance camera at Family Dollar purchasing black gloves, lighter fluid and a lighter prior to the incident, according to court documents.

She was also caught on camera near one of the scenes of the fire, at the Cathedral Candle Company on Kirkpatrick Street, wearing the same outfit she was caught on camera wearing at the Family Dollar.

According to court documents, Reverse swastikas circled in black paint were found at the scene of one of the fires on Sunset Avenue.

These same swastikas were found within Grant’s residence after police searched her home following a search warrant. Two swastikas were found on her living room wall, one was found inside her bedroom closet and another was found on the entry way wall.

No one was hurt in any of the fires.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is assisting local authorities, as needed.

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