WELLSVILLE - Dwayne Hazlett, 42, was sentenced to a year's probation in lieu of a suspended 30-day jail sentence and was ordered to pay $200 in fines plus court costs in connection with a Sept. 3 fire near his home on Highland Avenue in Wellsville.
Village Magistrate Timothy J. McNicol found Hazlett guilty of outside burning and misconduct at an emergency in Wellsville Magistrate Court last week. Hazlett had pleaded no contest to both charges.
According to Wellsville Fire Chief Bill Smith, Hazlett had been in the process of tearing down a vacant house that he owned at 392 Highland Ave. Hazlett set fire to a portion of the partially-demolished structure, which soon spread out of his control to a nearby debris pile. Smith added that Hazlett did so after having been advised by the fire department and the mayor's office that he could not tear the house down without first obtaining a permit and was not allowed to burn the debris under any circumstances.
Smith said he had pursued the charges in an effort to halt property owners attempting to demolish their dilapidated buildings. He stated that too frequently, these individuals don't take the proper precautions regarding gas and sewer lines, creating dangerous situations.