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Man charged with attempted murder, arson after setting house on fire in Cortland County

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A man from Cortland County is facing charges of attempted murder and arson, following a deliberate act of setting a mobile home ablaze while occupants were inside.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Authorities responded to the incident in Cortlandville on September 17, concluding that the suspect, identified as Matthew S. Clark, initiated the fire after a disagreement over property inside the home. Reports state that Clark obstructed the main entrance to the residence, trapping two individuals inside, before igniting the fire and fleeing.

Clark eluded immediate capture, prompting law enforcement to secure an arrest warrant for Second-Degree Arson. On September 28, credible intel led authorities to Clark’s location in the Truxton area. Though he attempted to escape, a collaborative effort between the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office, the Cortland Police Department, the Homer Police Department, and the New York State Police ensured his apprehension. Subsequent to his arrest, Clark was found to be carrying a controlled substance.

The arrest follows a meticulous investigation involving multiple agencies, including the Cortlandville Fire Department and the New York State Fire Investigation Team, alongside the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office, solidifying the charges against Clark for his alleged intentional and malicious act.