Nearly 2 Dozen Homes Damaged or Destroyed in Blaze Sparked by Man Mimicking TV Show: Cops

John Gomes
John Gomes faces felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor arson charges. (Handout)

An attempt to mimic a television show led to terrifying fire that affected nearly two dozen structures, according to police in upstate New York.

Authorities in the town of Cohoes arrested John Gomes after the blaze broke out Thursday afternoon. Three buildings were destroyed and 18 others were damaged.

Gomes was trying to bend metal in an attempt to imitate the History Channel series Forged in Fire when he started a fire in his backyard, according to police.

The series pits bladesmiths against one another to create the best historical "iconic edged weapons."

The fire quickly spread with the help of winds that surpassed 20 mph.

"It is the worst disaster the city has ever seen," Mayor Shawn Morse told reporters at a news conference.

Gomes, 51, was charged with felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor arson, the Times Union of Albany reported.

Gomes pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday night and was held on $15,000 bail.


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