Student Charged in Fire at UB Student Housing Complex

6:59 PM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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AMHERST, NY - A dorm student is facing charges following a fire that caused thousands of dollars in damage to a housing complex on UB's North Campus.

The Amherst Fire Department was called out to Spaulding Quad at the Ellicott Complex shortly after 6 PM Thursday night.

College officials say Alex Seidenberg, 19, from Ardsley, allegedly used a butane torch while using marijuana. Police believe he dropped the torch while smoking, starting the fire. He's charged with arson, reckless endangerment, possession of marijuana and criminal mischief.

Seidenberg and his girlfriend were taken to ECMC with minor injuries.

"The quick response and excellent work of these departments (Getzville, Ellicott Creek and North Bailey), are the reasons why there was minimal damage and the fire was confined to one room," said UB Police chief Gerald Schoenle, Jr.

Nineteen students living on the fourth floor were temporarily displaced and staying at a local hotel. Campus staff is working with them to find them accomodations for the rest of the semester.

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