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Locust Valley Arson Fire: Woman Arrested

By Chris O’Neill


Lauren Gach, age 32, was arrested by Nassau County Police for setting a mattress on fire last month in a group home on First Street in Locust Valley.


The group home houses persons with disabilities. There were eight persons in the home at the time of the incident: Six residents, including Gach; and two staff members.


The incident took place at about 1AM on a Friday.


In response to a 911 call, the Locust Valley Fire Department responded to extinguish the flames.


The fire did not seriously damage the structure, but the house was rendered uninhabitable due to smoke and water damage.  The firefighters also had to smash several windows. 


Gach admitted to starting the fire and was arrested without further incident.


She has been charged with second-degree arson – which is a felony, and five counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of physically disabled persons – also felonies, plus two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment, which are misdemeanors.


The residents were all unharmed, and were relocated and moved to another facility.


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