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Still no ID on body pulled from Lockport fire

Investigators reveal new details
Posted at 5:36 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 11:05:21-04

Investigators, first responders and the Mayor of Lockport provided an update Tuesday morning regarding last week's blaze at the High Tread Tire Plant.

Det. Lt. Todd Chenez, with the Lockport Police Department said due to the age of the individuals involved, he could not discuss any specifics of the case. However, he could say that the property owners were not at fault in any way.

Meantime, investigators are still working to identify remains discovered inside the factory.

Fourteen-year-old Joe Phillips hasn't been seen or heard from since the fire Wednesday evening. The Niagara County Coroner says dental records provided by the family are too old to get a positive ID. Those X-rays showed Joe's baby teeth instead of his permanent teeth.

Investigators say they now need to collect DNA from Joe's family. On Tuesday, Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey said they hope to have that identification in the coming days.

A source close to the investigation tells 7 Eyewitness News a teen has admitted to starting the fire with a friend at the factory. The source says that friend believes Joe Phillips went back into the building to try to put out the flames. He has not been seen since.

The law enforcement source says an arson arrest is expected in this case, but it is unclear when.

Also, because such an intense amount of water was used to battle the blaze, some water main breaks have been reported.  As a result, Summit Street will be closed starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday to fix the issue.