A man who tried to replicate a TV stunt ended up setting off a massive fire that damaged 32 buildings, displaced at least 18 people and forced the city to declare a state of emergency.
According to officials, it all began because a man wanted to imitate a stunt he’d seen on TV. The fire broke out Thursday in a neighborhood in Cohoes, New York.
Cohoes Fire Department Chief, Joseph Fahd said the man was trying to bend metal with fire in a barrel. He was trying to create a sword like something he’d seen done in the TV show, “Forged in Fire.”
The reality show pits bladesmiths against each other as they compete to recreate historical weapons. But it was very windy that day. And the extreme wind conditions caused the fire to spread several blocks, Fahd said. It took firefighters six hours to get the fire under control.
Police charged the man, 51-year-old John Gomes, with fourth-degree arson and reckless endangerment. Mayor Shawn Morse, a firefighter himself for 26 years, called the incident heartbreaking saying, ‘the city is working as hard as it can to rebound and return to a sense of normalcy.”