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Landlord charged with arson after house fire

Lima, N.Y. -- A landlord was charged with arson and placed under mental health arrest after a fire destroyed a home in Livingston County early Wednesday morning.

Firefighters said they arrived at the home on College Street in Lima around midnight and found flames on the first floor. Four fire companies fought the fire.

People in two apartments attached to the home were able to get out safely. The home was a total loss.

The building's landlord, Richard Willson, was taken to the hospital to be treated for third-degree burns to his right foot and leg. Investigators said he poured gasoline inside the house in an attempt to burn it.

He was charged with third-degree arson. Sheriffs deputies said Willson may have suffered from mental illness.

He brought a gas can into his house and said he was going to set his house on fire, said a man named Matt, who lived in one of the apartments. I didnt think hed actually do it, but he did.

Several firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion but were expected to recover.

 
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