UPDATE, 6:30 P.M. — New York State Police released the name of a Pennsylvania man charged with arson after a barn fire early Thursday morning killed more than two dozen racehorses at Tioga Downs Casino.
According to state police, 32-year-old Boyd H. Fenton, of Athens, was arrested after police say he entered the barn at the casino complex and intentionally set a fire, resulting in the death of the horses and causing thousands of dollars in damages.
Police say Fenton has been charged with the following:
- Arson in the third degree, a class C felony
- Burglary in the third degree, a class D felony
- Criminal mischief in the second degree, a class D felony
- Assault in the second degree, a class D felony
Police say that one person was injured during the fire after entering the burning building to try and save the horses and sustained second-degree burns. They were taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre for treatment.
Fenton was arrested and seen in court Thursday afternoon before being taken to the Tioga County Correctional Facility.
The investigation into the incident is still ongoing.
UPDATE — New York State Police released new information into the Thursday morning barn fire at Tioga Downs Casino that it is now being ruled an act of arson.
According to a report released by state police, an investigation into the fire revealed that the barn was set as an act of arson and resulted in the death of numerous racehorses.
Information released by the Tioga County Emergency Management Office said that crews from four departments responded to the fire around 6:34 a.m. on Thursday. Crews arrived to see heavy fire coming from one of the barns and that one person had to be taken away from the scene for burns and an evaluation.
Police say that a suspect is in custody and that the investigation into the fire is continuing. Police say that further information will be released after the investigation ends.
“We are deeply saddened by today’s tragedy, it was a loss no one could have imagined or expected. It is an active investigation so we are not able to comment any further at this time. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for all of the first responders who rushed to our aid, we have a wonderful community and we are honored to be a part of it.” said Jeff Gural, Chairman, American Racing & Entertainment.
NICHOLS, N.Y. (WETM) — A barn at Tioga Downs Casino caught fire Thursday morning, prompting a large response from local fire departments.
Reports of the fire came in sometime between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, of a working structure fire to one of the barns at the casino.
An 18 News reporter at the scene could see the structure was still burning around 8 a.m. with numerous fire departments working to control the fire. The barn was situated between other barns on the casino grounds.
The flames were knocked down, but smoke could still be seen coming from the remains of the structure.
It’s unknown if any horses were inside of the barn at the time of the fire, or if the barn was used to store horses at all, we will provide more updates as they become available.