Officials have arrested Michael K. Lyons of Baldwinsville and charged him with second degree arson for a fire that shut down the Baldwinsville business district Monday.
Firefighters from all over Central New York responded to the major fire at the four-corners in Baldwinsville. The two-story structure known as the Styer's building and the building connected to it on the southwest corner of routes 31, 370 and 48 in the village started on fire Monday morning. Earl Styers of Baldwinsville owns the properties.
A press release from the Baldwinsville Police Department said Lyons, 27, of 9 W. Genesee St. Apt. 12 intentionally started the fire and is being held on $10,000 cash and $25,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court at 6 p.m. Aug. 15.
How it started
Jeff Collins was working in his office at 44 Oswego St. around 7:45 a.m. when he thought he heard glass breaking.
"I thought someone was smashing bottles," he said.
Collins looked outside his office windows and didn't see anything. Shortly after he went to his car and saw smoke in the four corners.
"It was a little after eight," Collins said. "I thought I saw fog."
Ivo Masak was driving by right before 8:30 a.m. when he saw fire erupt through an apartment window of the building. He reported the fire at the police department across the street.
Collins said people began to gather in the area before fire departments arrived.
Meanwhile, Baldwinsville Police Officer James Cerankowski and Onondaga County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Bieling worked to get people out of the building. After evacuating the building, Cerankowski was brought to University Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Bieling was treated on the scene by the Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corps.
"I can't say enough about the heroism that the officers exhibited in rescuing the tenants of those buildings," Mayor Joe Saraceni said. "Their bravery and selfless actions saved lives. If that's not heroic I don't know what is."