Former tenant charged with torching boarding house

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(photo: Ed Mendoza)
Flames from the Beacon fire were visible from miles away in Newburgh (photo: Anastasis Amanatides)

BEACON – A 56-year-old homeless man has been arrested in connection with Tuesday morning’s pre-dawn blaze that destroyed a rooming house at 925 Wolcott Avenue in the City of Beacon.

The building was unoccupied as it was undergoing construction. Two nearby residences sustained exterior heat damage.

The Dutchess County Fire Investigation Division responded to the 6:25 a.m. blaze and determined it was arson.

Investigation by Beacon Police led to the arrest of former tenant Brian Atkinson, who has been charged with arson, two counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of criminal mischief.