Vigil held to remember victims of fatal Schenectady arson

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Updated: 2/12 10:49 pm

SCHENECTADY, N.Y.— A vigil to remember the victims of the Hulett Street fire in Schenectady took place Wednesday night.

A grieving family made the plea for the person, or persons, responsible, to come forward. The family hopes justice will be served nine months after a horrific fire that killed four people and seriously injured a fifth.

Liz Dolder said she's David Terry's sister. The 32-year-old man, along with his children, 3-year-old Layah, 2-year-old Michael and 11-month-old Donavan Duell died inside 438 Hulett Street. Authorities confirmed 5-year-old Sa'fyre suffered burns to 75-percent of her body.

"That was all the family I had. That I could call my own, that was stolen from us. And somebody out there knows the truth. Somebody has a little tidbit of information that needs to come forward," said Dolder.

Shirley Armour, who said she is Terry's aunt, explained that the last few days have been tough after charges were dropped against the man originally believed to have set the deadly fire. Robert Butler was arrested one day after the fire, but on Friday the U.S. Attorney's Office dismissed the counts against him.

Dolder and Armour gathered with more than two dozen others. Family members, friends and neighbors came together in the empty lot where the home once stood. They hoped to remind the community that authorities announced a reward of up to $12,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who authorities say intentionally set the fire. Dolder said investigators are doing the best they can.

"They have to sift through a lot of garbage, a lot of garbage. A lot of lies," said Dolder.

Authorities say surveillance video shows a different man in the area of the home at the time of the fire, but Butler could still face charges as the investigation continues.

"We want justice to be served. We want people to come out, let us know who did this. Somebody had to see something, somebody had to," said Armour. 

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