On Saturday September 19, 2009 at about 3:00 AM the Cortland Police Department and the Cortland Fire Department commenced an investigation into a structure fire at 140 Groton Avenue in the City of Cortland.
The investigation was initiated after a neighbor called 911 reporting the fire. 140 Groton Avenue is a multiple dwelling currently occupied by students of Tompkins Cortland Community College. At the time of the incident, the house was occupied by more than eleven people. The fire was quickly extinguished by neighbors and residents of the apartment house prior to the arrival of the Cortland Fire Department.
Damage to the building was limited to charring of the wooden siding on the North and East sides. Witnesses at the scene came forward and provided a description of the person who poured accelerant on the home then intentionally set it ablaze.
The suspects were located in the vicinity of the fire and identified during the subsequent investigation. Information obtained during the investigation supports the two defendants charged in this investigation attended a gathering at 140 Groton Avenue prior to the fire, were involved in a physical altercation at the residence, and sustained minor injuries. The two left the residence and returned with gasoline and started the fire.
At approximately 8:15 AM investigators lodged the following criminal charges against:
Jeremy D. Marsh 18 years of age 693 Lake Road King Ferry, NY
Mason A. Reeve 20 years of age 94 North Main Street Cortland, NY
Arson in the Second Degree Class B Felony 1 Count
Reckless Endangerment in the 2nd Degree Class A Misdemeanor 1 Count
Both Marsh and Reeve are currently attending Tompkins Cortland Community College. They were arraigned by City Court Judge Thomas A. Meldrim who remanded both defendants to the Cortland County Jail on $5,000.00 cash bail or $10,000.00 bond. Marsh and Reeve are scheduled to re-appear in Cortland City Court on September 21, 2009 at 9:00 AM.
The investigation is ongoing and will include forensic examination of evidence collected at the scene, as well as the motor vehicle utilized by the two defendants. The investigation is being conducted by the City of Cortland Police Department, the City of Cortland Fire Department and the Cortland County District Attorney’s Office. Anyone with information may contact the City Police department at (607) 753-3001 extension 0.