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Knox man arraigned on arson, obstruction charges

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Albany/HV: Knox man arraigned on arson, obstruction charges
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KNOX, N.Y. -- The man who set fire to his home in Knox plead not guilty to charges of arson and obstructing firefighting operations.

New York State Police say Kenneth Fortuin, 49, was taken into custody and arraigned Thursday. The judge entered the plea for him since Fortuin's attorney was not present.

The incident started around 11 p.m. Wednesday on 75 Saddlemire Road. Firefighters were called to a fire at the property.

According to Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, Fortuin was in a despondent state over personal issues and threatened to shoot firefighters as they responded. Troopers say they were in communication with Fortuin for several hours, and never worried he posed a threat to the public.

Hostage negotiators were also called in to assist.

"We pretty much knew where he was the entire time. We were more concerned for him then we were for us," explained New York State Police Lieutenant Keith Golden.

The incident ended around 7 a.m. on Thursday.

The house was damaged since firefighters were unable to properly fight the fire. However, nobody else was inside the home at the time of the fire, and nobody was injured.

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