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Ithaca arson investigation: School bus driver credited with saving lives after alerting residents

Police in Ithaca are investigating an arson that occurred during the early-morning hours on January 19.

According to a news release, IPD and IFD were called to the 600 block of Cascadilla Street for a house fire. The 911 call was first reported by an Ithaca City School District bus driver.

Police say the bus driver exited the vehicle, alerted the residents of the home, and used a fire extinguisher to knock down some of the initial flames.

Officers credited the bus driver, identified as Kieth Whittaker, with saving lives.

IFD later fully extinguished the blaze. The New York Office of Fire Prevention and Control later responded and assisted with the subsequent investigation.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the fire was intentionally set with use of an accelerant.

Police ask anyone with information about the fire to call IPD.