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BOY ARRESTED IN ARSON FIRE; FIREFIGHTER HURT

A 15-year-old boy was taken into custody Friday night after allegedly starting a two-alarm fire at an Abbott Road building, where a firefighter was injured after falling through a floor, an arson investigator said.

The fire, reported shortly after 4 p.m., started on the first floor and worked its way up to the attic of the 2 1/2 -story frame building that housed a business and some apartments, which were vacant.

A Ladder 10 firefighter fell through a floor into the basement at 831 Abbott Road. The unidentified firefighter was taken to Erie County Medical Center after reporting lower back pain. He did not return to duty, a fire dispatcher said.

Arson investigator Robert T. Meegan said ordinary combustible materials were set ablaze on the living room floor near a fireplace and in a bedroom dresser drawer -- in the same room where the suspect kept a battery-operated toy fire engine. Meegan said the suspect's grandmother is moving out of the building.

"He came back to the scene of the fire with his uncle, as the Fire Department was arriving," Meegan said of the suspect, who is known to fire investigators.

The suspect, whose name was withheld by police because he is a juvenile, will be referred to Family Court. Meegan said that had he been an adult, he would have been charged with felony counts of arson and criminal mischief.

Damage was estimated at $30,000 to the structure and $15,000 to its contents, the dispatcher said.

That same building was the scene of another fire two weeks ago, Meegan added.

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