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Columbia County teens charged with arson, burglary

June 11, 2019 05:11 pm

KINDERHOOK — Two teens are facing arson and burglary charges after a shed at a Kinderhook group home was allegedly set on fire Monday, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office charged a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old with third-degree burglary, a class D felony, and fifth-degree arson, a class A misdemeanor, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office has not released the identities of the teens because they are minors.

The 17-year-old is due back in Kinderhook Town Court on June 25 on an appearance ticket.

The 15-year-old was issued juvenile appearance tickets returnable to the Columbia County Probation Department.

Investigators believe a lighter was used to start the fire, which began in a small shed at 3433 Route 203, public information officer Lt. Wayne Lopez said Tuesday.

The fire was reported Monday by a passerby who saw smoke coming from the structure shortly before 11 a.m.

The blaze was quickly put out by firefighters.

No injuries were reported and there was no damage to the shed.

The teens allegedly entered the locked structure without permission from the owner and set fire to materials inside a crawl space, according to the sheriff’s office.

The eight-acre property includes the Kinderhof Group Home, which is owned by the Berkshire Farm Center & Services for Youth in Canaan.

In addition to the firefighting agencies, the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office and the Columbia County Attorney’s Office assisted with the investigation.

Investigating for the Sheriff’s Office were Sgt, Jeffrey Hofstetter, Investigator Ian Boehme, Investigator Reagan Anderson and Deputy Peter Merante.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.