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Lockport man whose meth lab ignited a house fire pleads guilty

A man whose methamphetamine lab ignited a City of Lockport house fire last summer pleaded guilty to a drug felony Wednesday in Niagara County Court.

Mark J. Maines, 43, of Washburn Street, Lockport, admitted to third-degree unlawful manufacture of meth.

Assistant District Attorney Peter M. Wydysh said Maines was concocting the drug July 30 in an upstairs apartment at 44 Park Place, Lockport, when the fire erupted. The Lockport Fire Department reported at the time that all occupants escaped safely and estimated the damage at $10,000.

Judge Sara Sheldon admitted Maines to a judicial diversion program for court-supervised drug treatment. If Maines succeeds in treatment, his charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor with a nonjail sentence. But if he fails, Maines faces up to 2½ years in state prison.

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