Niagara Gazette


May 18, 2014

Man sets house on fire to end 12-hour standoff in Lewiston

A West Lane man intentionally set his house on fire following a 12-hour standoff in the Village of Lewiston on Sunday.

Leonard A. Zientara, 51, was taken into custody about 6 p.m. after surrendering to Lewiston and State Police. 

After holding police off for most of the day, Zientara reportedly came out of the home on to the roof of the home and ignited a backpack. The fire spread throughout the upstairs and garage of the home. Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 was on the scene to fight the fire.

The incident began early Sunday morning when Zientara called police with an unspecified complaint, according to Channel 4 News. He refused to come to the door when police arrived, sparking the day-long standoff.

Police negotiators were reportedly in contact with him throughout the day. The incident led to portions of West Lane being evacuated early Sunday afternoon. Police had asked residents within a two-block area of the home to either stay inside or stay away from the area during the incident.

Throughout the day, police said they did not believe Zientara posed a threat to himself or others.

Police did not specify the charges Zientara was facing Sunday night.

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