Amateur Knifemaker Accidentally Sets 20 Buildings on Fire

An amateur knifemaker in New York caused a considerable amount of damage to his town this week when he accidentally set 20 buildings on fire while attempting to forge some metal.

John Gomes was trying out a technique he learned from watching the show Forged in Fire, a series that follows various bladesmiths who all compete to create "history's most iconic edged weapons."

After making an error that set his building on fire, the flames quickly spread thoughout his hometown on Cohoes, New York, engulfing roughly three city blocks in smoke and fire by the time it was all over.

Unfortunately, the 20 to 30 mph winds the city was experiencing at the time only made matters worse, as it helped to spread the fire more quickly.

According to the New York Daily News, at least three buildings were destroyed by the fire, another 18 buildings were significantly damaged in some way, and roughly 20 people were displaced from their homes.

The 51-year-old Gomes was charged with "reckless endangerment" and "misdemeanor arson." He pleaded "not guilty" to both charges and was jailed in lieu of paying the $15,000 bail that was set.

The mayor of Cohoes, Shawn Morse, told reporters that this "is the worst disaster this city has ever seen."


"We often tell people we don't allow open burns in the city and they often say, 'Why what's the worst that could happen?'" Morse posited. "Well, this open burn just caused millions of dollars of damage and destroyed half our hometown."