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Suspect in NT firefighter arson makes bail

NORTH TONAWANDA – Matthew Jurado, charged with setting a fire in the home of North Tonawanda’s only African-American firefighter, was freed from the Niagara County Jail Monday morning after a $50,000 bail bond was posted.

Jurado is charged with second-degree arson in connection with Wednesday’s fire at the home of Kenneth Walker of the Gratwick Hose Company. Jurado, a former firefighter with North Tonawanda’s Live Hose Company, lives directly across Oliver Street from Walker, whose apartment was torched two days after he received a threatening letter including a racial slur. Jurado has not been charged with sending the letter.

City Court officials confirmed the bond had been posted but didn’t disclose who posted it. Normally, a bail bond costs 10 percent of the bail amount, or, in this case, $5,000.

Jurado’s next scheduled City Court appearance is at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, when he is expected to come to court with an attorney to set a schedule for further action in the case.

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