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Bail set at $1M for Oneonta man charged in deadly fire

ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) — The man charged with murder and arson in the fire that took the life of former Oneonta firefighter John Heller appeared in Otsego County Court for a bail hearing Wednesday.

Heller died after rescuing his fiancé and nephews from a burning apartment on Walling Avenue in December 2018.

Gabriel Truitt, 33, is accused of starting the fire.

WKTV reports bail for Truitt was set at $1 million cash or $2 million bond.

Police announced last week that Truitt would be charged with the crimes, but say he was not taken into custody until Tuesday when authorities found him hiding in the basement of 95 Main Street in Oneonta.

The house is next door to the Oneonta Police Department.

Truitt has been indicted on charges of first-degree arson, first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder.


Nicky Hickling

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