February 28, 2013

Jobless man set fatal fire, DA says

MALONE — A Malone man killed himself by deliberately setting fire to his home on Valley Road on Friday.

James E. Andrews, 52, of 14 Valley Road was despondent because he was out of work and “died as a result of the fire,” said District Attorney Derek Champagne.

“He set the fire himself, using an accelerant,” Champagne said. “This is such a tragic situation.”

He said Andrews was a seasonal construction worker who was having money problems after being laid off several months.

“From all the information we have, he was a real hard-working individual who was unemployed and couldn’t find work,” the DA said.

“He had financial issues and wanted to be working — he didn’t like been laid off, and apparently things were not so good.”

Champagne said the investigation was continuing, “but no other individual was involved in his death.”

The fire was reported by passers-by shortly after 2 p.m. Friday near the corner of Valley and Whitten roads in the Town of Malone.

Malone Callfiremen and volunteers from Constable fought the blaze, which quickly consumed the south-facing side of the mobile home.

Andrews was found in the back bedroom of the home, which was owned by Edith Gallien of Constable, according to County Real Property Tax Service records.  

Members of the County Cause and Origin Team were on hand to investigate, and a unit from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control was also called in to find the exact cause.

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