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2 arsons among 3 fires in city

Buffalo firefighters investigated three overnight fires, including an arson on the city's West Side and another on the East Side. One man was arrested this afternoon in the East Side case.

The first blaze happened at 723 West Ave., between Hampshire Street and Massachusetts Avenue, at about 12:24 a.m.

The fire was intentionally set in a second-floor closet of the vacant, two-story house, the Fire Department said.

Damage is estimated at $5,000.

An emergency demolition has been ordered for a vacant home at 52 C St., which was fully involved when firefighters were called just after 4 a.m.

Damage at the 2 1/2 -story home, located between Mills Street and Fillmore Avenue, is estimated at $30,000. A neighboring structure received about $5,000 in exposure damage to an exterior wall. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

At 5:41 a.m., firefighters were called to 309 Sherman St., for a report of a kitchen fire in a first-floor apartment. Buffalo police have charged a South Buffalo man with starting that blaze.

Timothy S. Wargula, 20, of Folger Street, is accused of putting couch cushions and blankets on top of a stove, then igniting stove-top burners.

Three people were in the house at the time of the fire, though no injuries were reported.

Wargula, who witnesses told police made several threats to burn down the house, has been charged with second-degree arson, three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree criminal mischief.

Damage to the home, located between Broadway and Sycamore Street, was estimated at $1,000.

e-mail: abesecker@buffnews.com

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