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Arsonist sentenced for fire that devastated Lackawanna family

A Buffalo man was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison Tuesday for setting a fire on April 22, 2017 that seriously injured a family of five on Ingham Avenue in Lackawanna.Corey Green, 21, was originally indicted on first-degree arson charges, but a jury found him guilty of four third-degree arson charges in August.

Four families were living in the apartment building and three were able to escape. Members of the fourth family, including three small children, suffered severe burns, smoke inhalation, and other injuries. All four families were forced to relocate after the fire. Two members of the Soliman family were rescued by Lackawanna firefighters.

The three children were asleep at the time of the blaze. A three-year-old boy suffered third-degree burns on his arm and inner thighs. He spent several weeks at Strong Memorial Hospital where he received skin grafts. A four-year-old girl suffered smoke inhalation, which resulted in a partially collapsed lung, and facial lacerations. A 6-month-old girl was also treated for smoke inhalation.

The mother of the children spent weeks at ECMC in a medically-induced coma to be treated for smoke inhalation and severe burns on her back. The father fractured his foot and his spine while escaping from the second story. He continues to use a wheelchair due to his limited mobility, according to the district attorney's office.

Green received the maximum allowed sentence in State Supreme Court. Family members and Erie County District Attorney John Flynn expressed disappointment in the conviction on less serious charges.

“While Mr. Green was not convicted on the highest possible charge, I hope that the family feels safe knowing that this defendant is behind bars,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, in a statement. 

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