CORNING — A second man was charged Thursday with murder for allegedly playing a part in starting a May 14 fire on Townsend Avenue that took the life of his grandmother.
The charges against Jarrett W. Gause, 33, of Bath, were issued by a Steuben County grand jury, which also increased the charges against his brother, Justin L. Gause, 21, of Corning, in the death of 82-year-old Gladys Ann Willow, the grandmother of the two accused.
Both were charged Thursday with second-degree murder, five counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, tampering with physical evidence, first-degree falsifying business records and second-degree assault.
Justin Gause was originally charged in mid-May with second-degree manslaughter, first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine.
“They both are facing the same charges (now),” Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker told The Leader.
The two suspects will each appear again in Steuben County Court late in October to complete their arraignments, he said. Specific dates and times were not immediately available.
The fire at the Townsend Avenue home, allegedly started by the manufacturing of methamphetamine, led to Willow’s death, according to New York State Police Inv. Christopher Wilkinson.
Multiple fire departments and police responded to 20 Townsend Ave. at about 8:30 a.m. May 14, and firefighters fought the blaze for nearly 30 minutes. One resident, Willow, was declared dead shortly after being rushed to Corning Hospital.
Painted Post Fire Chief Joe Button, at the time of the blaze, said firefighters quickly put out the fire, which was localized in the back section of the residence near the kitchen area.
Firefighters from Painted Post, Corning City, North Corning and Gang Mills responded to the fire.
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