Cops Raid N.Y. Fire Buildings for Evidence in Deadly Hotel Arson

Police have called now Ridge Road Fire Chief Bud Phillips 'a person of interest' in the 1978 blaze.


It was a blaze no firefighter on the scene will forget. Ten people were killed when flames swept the Holiday Inn in Greece, N.Y. in 1978.

There's another reason the fire isn't far from Ridge Road Fire District Chief Bud Phillips' thoughts -- police have called him a person of interest in the case, according to WHEC.com.

Phillips, who was off-duty at the time, called in the blaze saying he saw the flames as he was driving by.

Police ruled the fire an arson, and the case has remained open.

Last month, federal, state and local officers executed a search warrant at two fire department buildings. The chief told reporters they seized incident reports from the fire and computer discs. He's not sure why they would take discs since they used typewriters. 

Investigators told the media they obtained the warrant because they had a reasonable belief there was evidence there.

“There is no doubt that it does have an effect on my day to day operation but as I contended from the beginning I did the right thing and I would do the same thing tomorrow," Phillips told the WHEC reporter adding, "I was the first person that did call the fire in, and ya know I’ve been in this business for a long time. But the part that I do not like is that they are classifying me as a young firefighter. At that time I had been on the job for 10 years and was a lieutenant, so I was a well seasoned firefighter."