OSWEGO — City police have charged two men for allegedly disrupting first responder operations during Saturday’s house fire on West Utica Street.
Anthony J. Prunner, 25, of 93 W. Utica St., Apt. C, and Michael W. Haskins, 26, of 89 W. Utica St., Apt. 2, were charged with obstructing firefighters, police and paramedics as they attempted to control the blaze and clear the surrounding area. The fire, which occurred at 93 W. Utica St., began in the upper area of the multi-family house and destroyed large portions of the second and third floors.
As crews descended upon the house shortly after 11 a.m. and evacuated residents, Prunner and Haskins were insistent on going back inside, according to the Oswego Police Department (OPD). OPD officials on Tuesday told The Palladium-Times it was not clear why Prunner and Haskins were so motivated to return to the burning building.
After police asked the men repeatedly to leave the restricted area due to the danger posed by the fire, officials said it became clear to officers the men would not leave peacefully. Prunner and Haskins were were placed then under arrest, according to police, and Haskins allegedly became combative with OPD personnel resulting in additional charges for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Prunner’s only charge was obstruction of firefighting operations.
City officials said the fire is believed to be electrical in nature, and pervasive rumors that the house contained materials for producing methamphetamine are false.
No residents were injured in the fire, but a Menter Ambulance employee who arrived first on the scene was treated for smoke inhalation. Oswego Fire Department officials said it took approximately 20 minutes to knock down the blaze.