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Intentional trash fire in Hamburg driveway heavily damages neighbor’s home

A Hamburg man intentionally set a trash fire in his driveway that spread and heavily damaged his neighbor’s home on Chapman Parkway earlier this week, authorities reported.

Gerald T. May, 52, of 4671 Chapman, faces charges of fourth-degree arson, first-degree reckless endangerment and criminal mischief as a result of the three-alarm blaze Monday morning.

The fire initially spread from the driveway to a fence separating the two properties, then to the garage at 4673 Chapman, and finally to the house.

The neighbors escaped unharmed, but the attached garage has a hole in the roof cut by firefighters to ventilate the structure and gain access to fight the fire.

May was taken into custody by police and is being detained at the Erie County Holding Center on $25,000 bail.

Volunteer fire companies responded, and it took 40 minutes to bring the fire under control. Those companies included Lake Shore, Lake View, Hamburg, Woodlawn, Blasdell, Big Tree, Newton Abbott and Scranton battled the blaze, according to the Erie County Fire Wire.

May is scheduled to appear in Hamburg Town Court at 10 a.m. Friday. Assistant Erie County District Attorney Paul J. Glascott is the prosecutor.

May is known to Hamburg police as a result of two previous incidents. He was arrested in June 2014 for resisting arrest and indecent exposure. A month later, he was arrested for public lewdness, acting in a manner injurious to a child and harassment.