NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say they've arrested a former firefighter in the blaze that damaged the western New York apartment of a volunteer firefighter who said he received a racist, threatening letter earlier this week.

North Tonawanda police say 39-year-old Matthew Jurado was arrested Thursday and charged with arson in the fire at 28-year-old Kenneth Walker's home. WGRZ-TV reports Jurado is Walker's neighbor and the two know each other.

Jurado was recently removed from a volunteer fire department for inadequate training.

Police say Jurado confessed to setting the fire. But they say he didn't claim responsibility for an anonymous letter that Walker said was left in his mailbox on Monday. It told him to resign because he's black.

Investigators say Jurado told them a friend of his was behind the letter.

It couldn't be determined if Jurado has a lawyer.


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