Remains in Lockport fire identified as missing teen, Joe Phillips

Posted at 3:24 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-20 08:20:36-04

Family members tell 7 Eyewitness News that remains discovered in the rubble of last week's factory fire are those of 14-year-old Joe Phillips.

The teen vanished following the fire at the HTI Facility on Stevens Street last Wednesday.

His friends remember the good times. 

“He was one of my best friends. Even though I didn't know him for long, it really sucked losing him,”said Ontario Defazio, one of Phillips friends.

As the mourning begins, the investigation wages on.

“The police have been actively working on it and hope to have their portion of it finished as soon as possible,” said Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey.

Sources close to the investigation say an arson arrest could be coming soon. It's believed a group of teenagers sparked the fire and that Phillips went into the building to try and put out the fire. He never came back.

Lockport High School will be open Monday for grief counseling. Phillips was set to start his freshman year there in the fall.