Police Investigate Arson At Tioga Downs Barns

NICHOLS – New York State Police are investigating a fire that happened this morning at the barns located at Tioga Downs in Nichols.

At around 6;30 am multiple fire departments as well as New York State Police responded to a barn structure fire at the Tioga Downs Casino complex located in Nichols, NY. The fire left at least one building completely destroyed and numerous race horses, over two dozen, were killed in the fire.

Tioga County Sheriff’s Department reports that one person was transported from the scene for burn injuries.

According to State Police the barn fire was set as an act of arson. A suspect was taken into custody and has since been identified as 32 year old Boyd H. Fenton of Athens PA. Police say Fenton allegedly entered the barn and set the fire. Fenton has been charged with:1

  • Arson in the third degree, class “C” felony
  • Burglary in the third degree, class “D” felony
  • Criminal Mischief in the second, class “D” felony
  • Assault in the second degree, class “D” felony

Fenton was arraigned before a judge yesterday afternoon and sent to the Tioga County Correctional Facility.

In a statement to the media, Jeff Gural, chairman of American Racing and Entertainment at Tioga downs said, “We are deeply saddened by today’s tragedy. It was a loss no one could have imagined or expected. It is an active investigation so we are not able to comment any further at this time.”

Gural went on to thank all who responded to the fire, adding, “…we have a wonderful community and we are honored to be a part of it.”

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