North Buffalo Man Admits to Causing Explosion in His House that Damaged Neighboring Homes

Modified: October 29, 2018 2:05pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 72-year-old Santo Cok of Buffalo pleaded guilty before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan to one count of Arson in the Third Degree, two counts of Arson in the Fourth Degree and one count of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree. The defendant pleaded guilty to all of the charges in the indictment against him.

On April 19, 2018, the defendant disconnected a gas line inside his Covington Avenue home and lit a candle in attempt to destroy the house. The explosion caused a fire, which spread throughout the North Buffalo house and damaged two neighboring homes.

Cok faces a maximum of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. He remains remanded without bail.

DA Flynn would like to commend all of the first responding members of the Buffalo Fire Department and the Buffalo Police Department for their actions in this dangerous situation. Also, DA Flynn would like to acknowledge the investigative work of Captain Edwin Ortiz of the Buffalo Fire Department.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Nathanael C. Kapperman and James M. Marra of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.