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Man charged with arson in Grand Island apartment fire

A Grand Island man was charged Thursday night with arson in a fire that caused $100,000 in damages to an apartment building in the town, the Erie County Sheriff's Office reported.

Sheriff's deputies and Grand Island volunteer firefighters responded at 9:55 p.m. to a fire that sent heavy white smoke streaming from an apartment complex at 1335 Ransom Road.

Deputies made sure everyone was out before witnesses singled out a nearby man suspected of setting the fire. Deputies took Robert Shoemaker into custody and turned him over to the Sheriff's Fire Investigation Unit and detectives.

Shoemaker, 33, was to be arraigned Friday in Town Court. No injuries were reported in the fire.

A sheriff's spokesman declined comment on a motive but did say Shoemaker lived in the building that caught fire.

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