ALBION, N.Y. (WKBW) — Police say around 4:30 p.m. Saturday reports of an explosion at a home on West State Street in Albion led to the response of several emergency crews.
Officials say when emergency crews arrived on scene 221 West State Street was on fire and the house to the east and the house to the north were exposed to the fire. Crews encountered several explosions that went on for 10 to 20 minutes into the incident.
Police say responding officers came in contact with Gary A. Tarr who said he said he was in the garage and sustained injuries to his face, torso and extremities.
Officials say he allegedly told police he was mixing compounds to make an explosive. Tarr said he bought the substances/compounds at a store locally and allegedly tried to test the substance by burning a small portion of it.
Police say he allegedly lit that on fire inside the garage and that was the cause of the initial explosion, the fire then rapidly spread and he left the garage.
Three homes involved were heavily damaged in the incident. Officials say 221 West State Street and 219 West State Street have been deemed a total loss by insurance, another home is still being evaluated but is expected to be deemed a total loss.
Police say Tarr was cooperative during investigation and in addition to mixing the substances/compounds together he was also dismantling commercial grade fireworks he obtained from out of state. Police say his intent was to create fireworks but ultimately created several explosive devices.
Police are concerned because they have information the devices have been distributed to others in the community and they have already recovered a few of them.
Officials are asking those in the community who may have the device(s) or know who may to contact officials, their intent is NOT to charge anyone with possession.
Tarr was charged with:
Five counts of reckless endangerment in the first degree, because other than himself there were a total of five people in the three homes.
Three counts of arson in the fourth degree.
Three counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree.
Three counts of reckless endangerment - property.
He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Albion Court March 2.