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After 2nd arson, police make arrest

A Buffalo man who got away with one arson at 5 p.m. Sunday when he tried to set a store on fire was caught 90 minutes later committing a second arson at a residence, police said.

Carlos J. Tirado, 24, of the 200 block of West Tupper Street, allegedly lit the contents of a trash can along the south side of the building where Steffie's Food Mart is housed at 1592 Elmwood Ave.

The blaze was minor, causing about $250 in damage, authorities said.

Then at 6:30 p.m., a short distance from the convenience store, the arsonist poured gasoline inside a garbage can at 45 Elmview Place, according to police, and flames from the fire began scorching the side of the residence.

Before the fire could spread, the suspect was noticed fleeing through the backyard by a tenant who had just arrived home and called police for help, according to Donald Warfe, who owns the house.

"Luckily, my tenant had just come home and was taking out the garbage when he saw the guy walking away," Warfe said. "I had another tenant who was upstairs sleeping when this happened."

Northwest District Police Officers Mark J. Cyrek and David M. Piech arrested Tirado.

"The police were able to put two and two together and arrest him for both fires. We're really blessed that he was found," Warfe said, adding that damage to the house was limited to the trash can and burn marks on the side of the building.

Tirado was charged with two counts each of second-degree arson and third-degree criminal mischief and one count of trespass, police said.

Assisting in the investigation were Buffalo Fire Marshals George K. Arthur Jr., Harold J. Emerson and Edwin O. Ortiz.

e-mail: lmichel@buffnews.com

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