Tenant "disgusted" after learning of arson ruling for Rochester apartment fire

A month following a massive apartment fire that left 12-families homeless, people like Lonnie McDowell are still trying to find another place to live

Rochester, N.Y. – A month following a massive apartment fire that left 12 families homeless, people like Lonnie McDowell are still trying to find another place to live.

“It’s hard, without any transportation. It’s just hard. Making it day by day, but it’s hard,” said McDowell.

On Wednesday, Rochester fire investigators said they’re investigating ruled the cause fire as arson.

"I'm a little disgusted. I can't believe somebody would actually do it on purpose," said McDowell.

“The facts don’t lie, and right now the facts and the training they have in place rule that it's arson,” said Amon Hudson, Public Information Officer with the Rochester Fire Department. “This was a very serious fire and very serious incident, so there needs to be some sort of answers.”

Nearly 90 firefighters helped fight the five-alarm fire on December 10th. One firefighter was hurt when he fell through the floor. Hudson said he is out of the hospital but has not come back to work.

Meanwhile, McDowell hopes for answers, not only for himself but also for his neighbors that had to escape and lost their homes.

“We don’t understand why it had to happen to us like that. It could have been worse, like I said. People have kids, and that was just really dangerous for us. They put our lives at risk for no reason, as far as I know or anyone else knows,” said McDowell.

Firefighters will not say how or where the fire started, because the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 423-9300.

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