Over a series of months, 6 incidents involving fires set with the aid of accelerants have been reported in the Village of Sleepy Hollow. The Westchester County “Cause & Origin” team has been asked by the Village Fire Department to assist them with their investigation into the fires. The fires have all been set in the inner-Village with the last one occurring at 160 Depeyster Street near Clinton Street. They have been set in the early morning hours when most residents are sleeping. The buildings being targeted are wooden frame multi-family structures.
In speaking with both Police Chief John Kapica and Fire Chief John Korzelius, River Journal learned that up until now the fires have been small. Both men, however, realize the threat to life and property should the arsonist be successful in starting a fire that would spread quickly through a multi-floor dwelling.
According to Chief Kapica, the Police Department has narrowed down the suspects, and he said, “We’re comfortable that we will bring this to an end.” For him the most important thing is that the arrest bring with it charges that “will stick” in prosecution. Fire Chief Korzelius admits that whereas the fires set to date have been small and extinguishable, it is only a matter of time until the arsonist is successful in creating a blaze. “That’s how they start, with small fires, and they keep trying until they catch it right,” he said of arsonists.
Residents are being asked to report any irregular activity outside of their homes or buildings and to call the Sleepy Hollow Police if they suspect or observe anyone acting suspiciously. They can call the Department at 631-0800.