Teen Charged in Salamanca Depot Fire

A teenager has been charged with fourth-degree arson in connection with a late July fire that destroyed the former Erie Railroad station in Salamanca, N.Y.

The apprehension of the 14-year-old boy came after investigators eliminated “everything but human hand” as a potential cause, according to Salamanca Fire Chief Nicholas Bochrski. The boy was also charged with second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree reckless endangerment, and third-degree burglary. He will appear in family court to face the charges.

The station had been vacant since Conrail ceased using it in the late 1970s. Plans to renovate it for use as a railroad museum in the 1980s fell through.

The property had been under the jurisdiction of the Seneca Nation of Indians since a city lease expired in 1990. The depot was built in 1904.

Seneca Nation Treasurer Rodney Pierce called the fire “a tragic chapter in the proud railroad history of this region.” Erie Lackawanna’s Lake Cities was the last passenger train to call at the depot in early January 1970.

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