A September 2015 arson fire damaged this building at 117 Jefferson Avenue in Endicott. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

A mysterious arson fire at a former synagogue in Endicott remains unsolved more than a year after it occurred.


The Jefferson Avenue building was condemned after the arson fire. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

The bizarre blaze happened in September 2015 in a building at 117 Jefferson Avenue, just one block from the village fire station.

Firefighters who ventured into the building around 2 a.m. were shocked when they discovered the place was booby-trapped with gasoline, propane, butane and trip wires.

The fire was quickly extinguished with no injuries reported and only minor damage inside the building.

Investigators initially said it appeared the place had been set up to kill firefighters. They expressed concern about the unusual scenario.

Detectives have described the case as "complicated." They have said DNA evidence may help them determine who was responsible for the fire.

Endicott Police Chief Patrick Garey said the investigation now is being handled by the state police. DNA evidence in criminal investigations is analyzed at an Albany-area state police lab.

The Jefferson Avenue booby-trap arson fire appears to be similar to an early-morning fire that happened 11 months later at an occupied home on East Main Street in Endicott.

Village firefighter Jason Stokes has been charged with second-degree arson for allegedly setting the fire in his own home while his wife and children were asleep.

Garey indicated there was nothing that tied Stokes to the first fire. He also was could not say whether he expected that case to be closed in the near future.

The Jefferson Avenue building was acquired by an Endicott woman last August. The structure's electrical system was recently inspected but the building remains unoccupied.


An electrical permit was posted at 117 Jefferson Avenue on December 2, 2016. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

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