Two Onondaga Nation teens charged with setting fire to two churches today

| July 5, 2009

Two Onondaga Nation teenagers were charged with arson Sunday after two morning fires on the nation left one church in ruins and damaged another nearby church.

Jacob Homer, 16, of 277A Hemlock Road, and Dylan M. Antone, 17, Route 11A, were charged with arson and buglary, both felonies.

They were arraigned tonight in DeWitt Town Court and held in jail on $50,000 bail.

Onondaga County sheriffs’s deputies learned the teens’ identities when people they interviewed reported seeing them near the churches before the fires, said Sgt. Bob Burns.

Fire companies battled the blazes for about two hours. Crews were still on the scene late into Sunday afternoon.

The fire at the Wesleyan Chapel among the Onondagas was reported at 8:20 a.m. and the fire at the United Methodist Church Onondaga Mission was reported at 9 a.m., Burns said.
The churches are about 500 yards apart on Route 11 near the Onondaga Nation School.

Our earlier reports:

Update at 12 p.m.

Fire this morning destroyed the Wesleyan Methodist Church among the Onondagas. Photographer Dennis Nett was on the scene shortly after 11 and said the fires were out. He said fire crews from South Onondaga, LaFayette, Nedrow and the Onondaga Nation were at the scene.

The second church, which is across the street, was damaged by fire but still stands, he said.

Reported earlier:

Fire companies were still on the scene of fires at two Onondaga Nation churches at about 11 a.m.

A fire at the Wesleyan Chapel among the Onondagas was reported at 8:20 a.m. and a fire at the United Methodist Church on the Onondaga Nation was reported at 9 a.m., said Sgt. Bob Burns of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office. Crews were still at the scene about 11 a.m., he said.

Burns said the churches are about 500 yards apart on Route 11.

"Both buildings have received substantial damage," he said.

No injuries were reported, and no services were taking place at the time of the fires, he said.

He said it’s too early to speculate if the fires are related.

The Post-Standard will continue to follow this story.

 

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/07/2_fires_reported_at_onondaga_n.html

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Category: Church Security

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