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Fire and suicide this morning near Athens

Dec 16, 2010 1:12 pm
Mid-Hudson News reports a Leeds man committed suicide early Thursday after a fire deemed suspicious broke out in the house where he lived at 330 Valley Road, near Athens' Green Lake, according to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office found both the ranch-style home and a nearby barn on the property ablaze. Sheriff's officials said Steve Svidro, 49, who ran a maintenance and painting business, lived in a basement apartment, and his mother lived upstairs. Police said Svidro ran from the scene and that his mother told police he had guns and was a “sharpshooter,” according to the report. Greene County sheriff’s deputies found Svidro near Black Lake Road in Leeds with what they described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head around 10:30 a.m. UPDATE: The Daily Mail says, "It is believed the incident stemmed from family problems." SECOND UPDATE:The Daily Freeman has a gripping account of how things went down, including details such as the mother's witnessing her son dousing her house in accelerants, while she was in it, and the police dog search for the missing son.