22 July 2014
The New York State Police – Livingston Barracks in conjunction with the Columbia County District Attorney, Paul Czajka announce that an arrest has been made relative to a fire investigation at the Historic Blue Stores Hotel, Town of Livingston, Columbia County NY.
On March 15, 2014 The Livingston Fire Department along with numerous mutual aid fire departments responded to an early morning blaze at the hotel. The fire was reported at approximately 1:45 am, shortly after the business had closed.
During fire suppression operations, Fire Chief Paul Jahns, along with Columbia County Fire Coordinator John Howe, requested the assistance of the Columbia County Cause and Origin team and the New York State Police.
The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control under the direction of Deputy Chief Randal Shadic, responded to the scene to assume the fire investigation. Over the course of a two day period the scene was investigated by State Fire and State Police.
On 7/18/14 the four month long investigation, which included assistance from the Livingston Fire Dept., Columbia County Fire Coordinators Office, NYS OFPC, NYS Dept. of Financial Services, as well as numerous insurance companies and other state agencies was concluded.
Darrin J. Buffa, age 40 of Craryville, NY; owner and operator of the Blue Stores restaurant and catering service was indicted by Grand Jury for one count of Arson in the 3rd degree, a class C felony. An Arrest Warrant was issued by Columbia County Court Judge Richard Koweek.
On 7/22/14 Mr. Buffa was arrested at SP Livingston by members of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. He was arraigned in front of the Hon. Richard Koweek, Columbia County Court and released on $60,000 bond.
Anyone with information related to this investigation or arrest is asked to contact SP Livingston BCI Inv. Eric Barnes at 518-851-2894.