House fire, three weeks after fatal fire, leads to arrest

seilerfire


LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) – Lockport firefighters put down a house fire, Tuesday night, the same house that was the scene of a fatal fire less than three works earlier, but this time one of the residents was charged with arson.

Police arrested Caleb Bell, Jr., 34, and charged him with torching his home on East High Street in the City of Lockport, the same house Bell shared with his mother, Holly Seiler, and his sister Crystal.

Caleb Bell Jr. (Courtesy of The Buffalo News and the Niagara County Sheriff's Office)
Caleb Bell Jr. (Courtesy of The Buffalo News and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office)

Firefighters were called to the house, October 20, to fight a fire in an upstairs bedroom and found Seiler’s body. Seiler’s death is still under investigation, and authorities have not determined how she died.

At that time, there were two 911 calls, one for a domestic dispute, the other reporting the fire. Investigators said Seiler, 54, was found in her bedroom, and most of the damage was confined to a small area.

The fire Tuesday night was much more devastating, but the property damage does not appear to be a total loss. Firefighters were responding to a report of a natural gas leak, but the house was already engulfed in flames.

Police suspect–based on witness statements–Caleb Bell deliberately set out some type of fuel, and lit it. Bell was stopped, questioned, and charged with arson.

Bell was arraigned in Lockport City Court Wednesday morning, charged with third degree arson, and was ordered held without bail. He is due back in court, next week.

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