Man avoids jail time for house fire that killed son

November 30, 2018

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A western New York man who started a house fire that killed his 7-year-old son after lighting a cigarette with a blowtorch has been sentenced to probation.

A judge sentenced 54-year-old Joseph Conti, of Buffalo, to five years’ probation Thursday. Conti pleaded guilty in August to one count of criminally negligent homicide.

Prosecutors say Conti lit a cigarette with a blowtorch in January and then put the blowtorch on a bed. Police say the blowtorch ignited the mattress, causing a fire that ripped through Conti’s home.

Several family members escaped the burning home but Conti’s son, Anthony, was found inside the house. The boy was taken to a hospital where he later died from smoke inhalation.

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