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Father of boy who died in Lovejoy fire pleads guilty to criminally negligent homicide

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A Buffalo man has pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court to a count of criminally negligent homicide in connection with the death of his son in a house fire in January.

Joseph Conti, 54, admitted to lighting a cigarette with a blowtorch in the early morning of January 29 in his Benzinger Street home.

The torch ignited a mattress and the fire quickly spread. Most family members were able to escape the flames, but Conti's 7-year-old son Anthony was found inside by firefighters. He died at Oishei Children's Hospital of smoke inhalation.

Conti has been released on his own recognizance and will be sentenced on November 9. He faces six months in jail and five years of probation.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
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