Clerk charged with arson in food mart fire

GREENPORT—A store clerk has been charged with setting the April 27 fire at the 66 Food Mart in the Greenport Crossings Plaza.

Sheriff’s deputies went to the food mart to assist the Greenport Fire Company with a fire at that location, April 27 at 5:36 a.m. After an extensive investigation by the Columbia County Cause and Origin Team, investigators from the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control, the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, it was determined that the fire was intentionally set, according to a press release from Columbia County Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

Hari Bohara, 40, of Ten Broeck Avenue, Greenport, the store clerk who was on-duty and the only person in the store at the time of the fire was interviewed by authorities and was subsequently charged with third degree arson, a class C felony, by Sheriff’s Office Investigators Mark Dunspaugh and Patrick Logue at 7:05 p.m.

Mr. Bohara allegedly started the fire inside the store and then reported it to Columbia County 911.

He was arraigned in Greenport Court before Justice Robert Brenzel and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bail bond pending a future court date.

The investigation is continuing and further charges are possible. Also assisting at the scene were the sheriff, Captain John DeRocha, Senior Investigator William Foster and Deputies Kris Bauhoff and Jason Garvey. District Attorney Paul Czajka was also on the scene.

In the release, Sheriff Bartlett thanked Greenport firefighters and responding mutual aid companies for their quick and efficient knock down of the blaze. “The firefighter’s initial response was critical in the preservation of evidence that was retrieved at the scene. With a crime such as this cooperation between all first responders is a must to ensure a successful criminal investigation,” he said.

 

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