Man Pleads Guilty to Starting an Inferno While Trying to Forge a Sword in Backyard

A 51-year-old man who started a downtown inferno when he was trying to forge a sword in his backyard burn barrel has pleaded guilty to arson in Albany County Court.

John Gomes admitted Wednesday that he started the blaze last November that destroyed or damaged nearly two dozen buildings in Cohoes, just north of Albany. The blaze started when embers blew onto a nearby building.

Authorities said Gomes was trying to bend metal to make a blade in an attempt to imitate the History Channel television series "Forged in Fire."

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Chris Ritchey, said Gomes is "incredibly remorseful" about what happened.

Gomes faces a year in jail when he's sentenced on April 25. He also agreed to pay restitution, which hasn't yet been determined.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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