Fire in Historic Staten Island Home Treated as Suspicious, Official Says

By Nicholas Rizzi on August 29, 2013 1:39pm 

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 The historic Kruser-Finley House, built in 1790, caught fire on Wednesday, August 28, 2013.
Kruser-Finley House Fire
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RICHMOND TOWN — A fire that tore through a 223-year-old Staten Island home is being treated as suspicious, the property's director said.

The Kruser-Finley House, near the corner of Richmond and Arthur Kill roads in Historic Richmond Town, burned around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, an FDNY spokesman said.

Firefighters got it under control about an hour later.

Ed Wiseman, Historic Richmond Town's director, said the roof was mostly gone. He said he hadn't been able to survey the damage inside.

“This is the first time ever that we've had a fire in any of the buildings,” he said. “We are not a site that is normally targeted for criminal activity.”

The FDNY did not give a cause for the fire, and said an investigation is ongoing. Wiseman said they told him they’re considering it suspicious.

Wiseman said that the home, which is near the back of the large historic site, could be easily accessed.

“It is unfenced and open,” he said. “Even if we had an army it would be very difficult to police the whole site.”

The fire comes days before the site’s largest fundraising event, the Richmond County Fair, which starts on Saturday, Wiseman said.

Even with the fire, Wiseman said the event will go on.

“We're going to do it, it will not affect it,” Wiseman said.

“More now than ever we need people's support.”

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