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Le Roy man charged with arson, accused of setting father's house on fire

By Howard B. Owens

A Le Roy man, who was himself badly burned in a fire June 13 at 3 Orchard Drive in the Village of Le Roy, was arrested on a charge of arson, 2nd, today.

Paul F. Atkinson, 42, was released from Strong Memorial Hospital and immediately arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court. He was sent to the Genesee County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Atkinson suffered 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns on several parts of his body and has been hospitalized since the fire.

The residence is owned by his father and Atkinson reportedly told police he started the fire following a dispute with his dad.

Several hours before the fire, Atkinson appears to have left a status update on his Facebook page that reads, "everyone can go to hell, tired of this life."

His Facebook profile has apparently since been deleted.

Le Roy Police accuse Atkinson of intentionally setting the fire "while knowing or should have known that two persons were sleeping inside the residence."

Atkinson's sister had to be helped down from a second-floor deck by a Le Roy Police officer and her husband reportedly jumped from a second-floor window, injuring his ankle.

Wendy Atkinson

This to me is a tragic case of mental illness. It runs in family, as I myself, Pauls own sister have bi-polar disorder. I do not condone his actions, however, I can empathize with him. Sometimes in peoples heads what makes no sense to others, is ratinalized in a mentally distressed person. I want him to for get the help he needs, the medication req'd to help balance him, and to seek forgiveness, it is out there.

Jul 1, 2011, 10:29am Permalink

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