Man charged with arson after a fire at a New York racetrack killed more than 24 horses, police say


A Pennsylvania man has been arrested and charged with felony arson after a fire at a New York racetrack left one person injured and more than two dozen horses dead, police said.

Boyd H. Fenton, 32, of Athens, Pennsylvania, also faces felony charges of burglary, criminal mischief and assault, the New York State Police said in a news release.

Fenton has been arraigned and was being held in the Tioga County Jail, state police said. CNN has reached out to the correctional facility and the Tioga County District Attorney’s office but has not been able to identify an attorney for Fenton.

Fenton allegedly entered the barn at Tioga Downs Casino Resort early Thursday and “intentionally set a fire, causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage,” according to the release.

“One person who entered the burning barn in an attempt to save horses suffered second degree burns and was transported to Robert Packer Hospital for treatment,” the release said.

“We are deeply saddened by (this) tragedy, it was a loss no one could have imagined or expected,” Jeff Gural, owner of Tioga Downs, said in a statement Thursday. “It is an active investigation so we are not able to comment any further at this time. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for all of the first responders who rushed to our aid, we have a wonderful community and we are honored to be a part of it.”

The Tioga Downs complex is in Nichols, New York, which is near the Pennsylvania-New York border and about 40 miles south of Ithaca. It offers live harness racing, casino gaming and other recreational activities.

CNN’s Kelly McCleary contributed to this report.

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