Hornell Woman Receives Two Week Sentence For Undoing Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Before Fire

Hornell Woman Sentenced to Two Weeks

December 12, 2013

HORNELL, NY – The Hornell board of public safety met today, and got an update from Codes officer Bud Burdett regarding the September 21 fire at the East Avenue residence of Ashley Webster, in which careless smoking was determined to be the cause. Upon further investigation it was found that the smoke detectors had been disabled by the tenant, Ashley Webster. Webster was cited by Hornell codes office for violation of the property management law, which states that once a dwelling is inspected by a codes officer, the tenant is responsible for maintenance on the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The Codes office had inspected that residence on July 11, 2012 and noted that the required smoke detectors were in place and operational at the time and as a matter of protocol had pictures to document the inspection.

The acting Hornell City Court Judge Robert Cole held a trial on this on December 11, with Webster being found guilty of the codes violation. Cole then sentenced Webster to fifteen days in jail and a $250 fine. A court official says the sentence will begin on December 26.

Hornell’s codes office staff wishes to remind residents of Hornell of the serious nature of disabling smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, noting that had it not been for the actions, of Hornell physicians Weyand and Halpenny, who were jogging by the house and called 911 to report the fire and the heroic actions of HPD patrolman Darryl Purucker who entered the structure twice to see if other occupants were in the residence.