Court Papers: Canton Man Confesses To Setting Canton Dairy Queen

Court Papers: Canton Man Confesses To Setting Canton Dairy Queen Fire

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A Canton man has confessed to setting the Canton Dairy Queen on fire early Sunday morning. That's according to court papers.

Court officials identify the suspect as 20 year old Cody Horrocks of West Main Street, Canton. A source says he was employed by Dairy Queen at the time of the fire.

He's charged with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny. Additional charges are pending.

Horrocks was arrested Tuesday night, was arraigned in Canton Town Court and sent to the St. Lawrence County Jail. His bail is set at $1,000.

Fire broke out at the Dairy Queen early Sunday morning. The restaurant had been a fixture in the community for 51 years and employed 15 people.

According to court documents, Horrocks told a police officer he caused the fire by stuffing a trash bin with papers and lighting it on fire. The flames then spread to the building.  

He also confessed to taking $1,600 from the Dairy Queen before starting the fire, the documents said.

He has not yet been charged with starting the fire. Canton police said evidence collected after the fire has been sent to the state police lab in Albany.

Horrocks told police he had been able to escape the Dairy Queen and was picked up by his girlfriend, according to court documents.

Owner John Putman told police an estimated $2,100 was missing altogether, according to court documents.

Putman told police the restaurant's manager called him early Sunday morning. The manager said Horrocks told him the Dairy Queen was on fire.

Putman arrived to find the restaurant in flames and surrounded by firefighters. Eight hours after the fire started the restaurant's cash registers were retrieved and found to be emptied of cash.

Three lockers where money was kept had also been broken into and emptied of cash, according to Putman's statement.

According to a search of 7 News archives, Horrocks was arrested in 2016 in Watertown on forgery charges.

Business owners in the village of Canton say the Dairy Queen is already missed.

Sylvia Kingston owns and operates Josie's Little Pizzeria on East Main Street in Canton, which is around the corner from Dairy Queen. Kingston says she couldn't see the remnants of the fire from her pizza shop, but could certainly smell that something had burned. 

"It's going to be highly missed," she said. "I hope they can rebuild and hope they can keep giving us all those great treats because I know we all go there."

Up the street at Glow Skin Care and Spa, owner Carmen Gendebine says it's a tragedy and hopes the Dairy Queen will reopen.

"They're missed already and hopefully they'll be able to reopen soon," she said. "I'm sure the community will welcome it and we'll all be waiting in line for blizzards."

A family member tells 7 News the Dairy Queen's owner hopes to rebuild, but is waiting to see what insurance will cover.

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