SARANAC LAKE - Village police are looking for a car that was seen in the Park Avenue area on the night of May 23, when a suspicious fire damaged a three-story apartment building there.
"It was described by one witness as dark brown or maroon in color, a four-door sedan, possibly a Ford Taurus," village Police Chief Bruce Nason said Thursday. "The driver's door had heavy damage to it, and it appeared like somebody had tried to fix it by pounding out the dents. If anybody has any information or might possibly know of a vehicle that meets that description, please call us."
The blaze at 169 Park Ave., a former cure cottage with seven apartments owned by the Nicastro family, broke out around 1:30 a.m. The building's tenants escaped unharmed, although some had to use its fire escapes to get out.
The flame damage was mostly contained to a second-floor hallway, where investigators later determined the blaze started. Preliminary evidence has led police to believe the fire was started intentionally using an accelerant.
Nason said Thursday he was still waiting for results of laboratory testing on the evidence in order to determine what kind of accelerant was used.
He said he didn't know if the vehicle the witness reported seeing may have belonged to a potential suspect or just someone who was passing by that night.
"The vehicle was seen in the area around the time of the fire," he said. "We don't have anything other than that. Somebody could have just happened to have been driving by. At this point, they may be potential witnesses."
Police are still following up on potential leads. Nason said they have interviewed the building's tenants, but "nothing definitive has developed."
Anyone who may have seen the vehicle Nason described, or have any other information that could assist police, is asked to call the Saranac Lake Police Department at 518-891-4422.
Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or email@example.com.