Webster man charged in connection with arson investigation

May 17, 2017

Eric Reynolds
Credit Rochester Fire Dept.

A Webster man is facing a felony arson charge in connection with an incident in Rochester earlier this week that officials say had the potential to be devastating.

52 year old Eric Reynolds faces the first degree arson charge after firefighters were called to a vacant building on Ridgeway Avenue for the smell of gasoline. Reynolds owns that apartment building.

Battalion Chief Jim Hartman says they found evidence that an explosive device had gone off, but failed to ignite pails of gasoline that were left near the device.

“I am unsure what the intent of the whole system was , whether the intent was to demolish the building and start a large fire, or it was meant to be triggered later and endanger  first responders, so I’m not sure what the device was.“

Hartman says if the makeshift devices had gone off with the fire crew in the building, it could have killed two dozen of them.

He says at this point, officials are not sure what the motive was.