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Man charged with starting deadly Schenectady fire

Suspect said to have dated female tenant

Robert Butler is escorted to the Schenectady County jail after his arraignment in Schenectady City Court this morning on a first-degree arson charge in the Hulett Street fire that killed four people Thursday. (Gazette photos by Marc Schultz and Peter R. Barber)
Robert Butler is escorted to the Schenectady County jail after his arraignment in Schenectady City Court this morning on a first-degree arson charge in the Hulett Street fire that killed four people Thursday. (Gazette photos by Marc Schultz and Peter R. Barber)
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Robert A. Butler was led into the courtroom Friday morning wearing an anti-suicide smock and no shoes or socks. He was being arraigned on charges he set the Thursday morning fire that left three children and their father dead and another child critically burned. Butler looked around the courtroom, shaking. Outside, the grandfather of the dead children was beside himself. Jeff Woodbeck said he believed Butler should be hanged. “He should not even be alive ...


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comments

safny
May 2, 2013
6:45 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

You do realize that the article and the photo caption have two different addresses - 438 Hulett and 417 Hulett. Not even on the same side of the street.

cidbil
May 2, 2013
9:33 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

According to the TU, 4 people have died as a result of their injuries.

ajdjr73
May 2, 2013
9:38 a.m.

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Peter Barber: Thank you for this extraordinary photo of the Schenectady Fire Men. I hope long time Schenectady residents do not take for granted our Fire Department. I have lived in Schenectady only two years and have walked this earth over 60 years and lived in many, many, places. I have NEVER lived anywhere where the FIRE DEPARTMENT is actively fighting fires so regularly as here in Schenectady.

They deserve all the support we can muster. I would also like to say that I have a friend who is a retired fire fighter from Baltimore and I send him all the Gazette photos of Schenectady's Fire Department in action. All I can say is thank you.

ajdjr73
May 2, 2013
9:43 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

daily, I believe safny is pointing out a discrepancy in information that could have been rectified by careful editing. I appreciate your viewpoint that in light of people dying, this seems trivial. But, getting information correct is important to many readers. Cut SAFNY some slack.

safny
May 2, 2013
12:24 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

When I posted that comment early this morning (6:45 a.m.) the story was one paragraph and none of these details about the fatalities were in the article. Obviously, I would not have been that insensitive. I do consider myself a Gazette gadfly due to the many inconsistencies and errors in this paper. I have gone so far as to e mail with the managing editor. Again, when i read the article this morning it was just about a fire.

ajdjr73
May 2, 2013
9:37 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

SAFNY: Yes, this article on line has changed quite a bit since this morning.

rsmall803
May 3, 2013
11:51 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

another great reason to have a death penalty.

justapto
May 3, 2013
3:32 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Make sure you have smoke detectors in every bedroom and outside in the hallway. Also have several carbon monoxide detectors. If you have children; be aware that kids sleep through alarms. Have at least a smoke detector and co detector in each adults bedroom. A fire doubles in size every 60 seconds and co will over come you in just minutes.

wmarincic
May 3, 2013
5:25 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Good info justapto, thanks.

wmarincic
May 4, 2013
5:08 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

My condolenses go out to this family. One would also have to ask why there was 17 people living in this house? These are two family homes that are usualy 2 bedroom apartments sometimes they are used as three bedroom by turning the living room into a bedroom. I also have to wonder how two other adults got out and left those kids there. I can imagine the father was overcome by smoke or the fire trying to save them all. This is a tragedy that should not have happened on too many levels. Were there any public assistance agencies involved with either apartment and how did the fact that so many people live there get by them? Many questions need to be answered here.

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