Greenwich photographer, others lose businesses and apartments in suspected arson

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GREENWICH, NY (News10) – A fire that has left several people homeless and businesses destroyed is called an arson attack.

Police say the fire inside an old historic building at 126 Main Street in Greenwich was deliberately started by a California man staying with his family in a second-floor apartment.

sergeant. Robert Danko of Cambridge-Greenwich Police said his office received calls from dispatch around 12:10 p.m. on Sunday about a man who jumped out of a second-story window and took off from the scene.

He said witnesses identified the man as John M. Fox. The same witnesses claimed that Fox deliberately started the fire.

Danko says officers were able to locate Fox in a nearby cornfield with the help of a K-9.

He was taken into custody and charged with arson, reckless engagement and criminal mischief.

Danko says the motive may have been fallout after a night of partying and an argument between Fox and a cousin.

Eight residents lost their apartments and belongings in the fire and three business owners were also left with nothing.

Clifford Oliver Mealy’s photography studio and all of his equipment caught fire. And it wasn’t just his own cameras, equipment and photographs that were lost.

He’s been in the business for 50 years and says he was currently working on a client’s family photos: “Scan the family photos and they’re lost. I feel sorry for myself. But there are six apartments in there. I must say that after this (fire), I could go home. They couldn’t go home.

The community now embraces people like Clifford.

Liv Thygesen, president of the Greater Greenwich Chamber of Commerce, said her office is working to connect displaced residents and business owners to services. Thygesen says they are also accepting donations.

“Things to really get you back on your feet. Small appliances. This type of item they can bring directly here to 6 Academy Street in Greenwich,” she adds.

As for Clifford, he thankfully left two cameras at home which he now uses to capture his own story.

“Maybe God prepared me for something else. But then I’m like, no. He left me two cameras. So, I just think it’s just a new way of doing things. I do not know.”

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