By Thomas Marra
For Capital Region Independent Media
ELSMERE — A Troy man was arrested and faces arson and other charges following a lengthy investigation into a fire in Elsmere back in September of 2020.
Brian D. Fogarty, 48, of Troy, was arrested April 12, 2022, by Bethlehem Police and faces several charges following an arson investigation, according to a statement from police.
Fogarty is charged with second-degree arson, a class B felony; second-degree criminal mischief, a class D felony; first-degree reckless endangerment, a class D felony; and providing a false written statement, a class A misdemeanor, according to police.
The investigation into the fire began after fire crews were called to 15 Quincy Court in Glenmont on Sept. 20, 2020, for a report of a structure fire.
“On our arrival we noted there was a concentration of fire on the rear of the building,” said Chief Frank Wickham of the Elsmere Fire Department in an interview immediately following the fire. “We quickly rerouted our apparatus to the rear of the building and we were able to put out that part of the fire in quick time.”
The fire was called in quickly by an alert delivery person.
“I believe a newspaper delivery individual called the fire in,” Wickham said. “Very quickly it was confirmed as a fire.”
A neighbor was reported to have been knocking on doors to evacuate residents.
“A neighbor made sure that all the people in the units were out,” Wickham said. “We took the precaution of turning off electric and gas to the neighboring units.”
Another alert neighbor assisted in attempting to fight the fire.
“We actually had one of the homeowners who had his garden hose and was wetting the fire down,” he said.
The apartment unit appeared to be under renovation, however that information was not commented on as the investigation is still ongoing.
While operating inside, firefighters extinguished the fire in the rear, only to discover additional locations of fire throughout the apartment.
Firefighters discovered fire in the kitchen area as well as in the garage, Wickham said.
There appears to have been additional fires at other locations inside as well. The fire in the kitchen area was the visible fire at the back sliding glass door of the unit. Firefighters forced their way into the garage, where they found additional fire.
The building was ventilated and the fires were placed until control in approximately 15 minutes.
The fire was contained before it spread to the two units on either side of the fire.
“There is a concrete fire wall between each of the units, which is very helpful in this situation,” Wickham said. “Some of the buildings here have a basement and some do not.”
The building contained four different apartments. Damage was confined to the one unit.
The Elsmere and Selkirk fire departments responded with the Bethlehem FAST Team (Firefighter Assist and Search Team), Delmar-Bethlehem EMS, Albany County Paramedics and Bethlehem Police Fire Investigation Team.
Wickham said there was nobody inside the building at the time of the fire.
There were no injuries reported at the scene.
Fogarty remains in police custody following arraignment.
“He was arraigned in the Town of Bethlehem Court and remanded to the Albany County Correctional Facility with no bail due to having two prior felony convictions,” according to a statement from Bethlehem Police.
He has a return date to court set for May 3, in the Town of Bethlehem Court.
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services-Office of Fire Prevention and Control also assisted with the investigation, according to police.