Inferno that engulfed 21 buildings was sparked by an amateur metalworker copying tips from a History Channel segment on forging iconic edged weapons

  • John Gomes, 51, was reportedly trying to bend metal in an attempt to imitate TV series?'Forged in Fire'
  • While trying to imitate the History Channel segment, he started a barrel fire in backyard that quickly spread
  • The fire quickly spread due to 20 to 30mph winds on Thursday afternoon destroying three buildings?
  • Eighteen other buildings were damaged and 20 were displaced, according to New York authorities?

An inferno that destroyed or damaged nearly two dozen buildings in a city in upstate New York was sparked by an amateur bladesmith who apparently was trying to imitate something he saw on TV, officials said.

The blaze broke out Thursday afternoon in downtown Cohoes, just north of Albany, and was stoked by 20 to 30 mph winds.

Three buildings were destroyed, 18 others were damaged and at least 20 people were displaced, according to the Times Union of Albany.

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An inferno that destroyed or damaged nearly two dozen buildings (pictured) in a city in upstate New York was sparked by an amateur bladesmith who apparently was trying to imitate something he saw on TV, officials said

An inferno that destroyed or damaged nearly two dozen buildings (pictured) in a city in upstate New York was sparked by an amateur bladesmith who apparently was trying to imitate something he saw on TV, officials said

The blaze broke out Thursday afternoon in downtown Cohoes, just north of Albany, and was stoked by 20 to 30mph winds

The blaze broke out Thursday afternoon in downtown Cohoes, just north of Albany, and was stoked by 20 to 30mph winds

John Gomes (pictured in court) was arrested and charged with felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor arson?

John Gomes (pictured in court) was arrested and charged with felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor arson?

Courtesy:?WTEN / News10

Officials said the city is under a state of emergency.?

'It is the worst disaster the city has ever seen,' Mayor Shawn Morse told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. The city has a population of around 16,000.

Morse said John Gomes, of Cohoes, apparently was trying to bend metal in an attempt to imitate the History Channel television series 'Forged in Fire' when he started a barrel fire in his backyard that quickly spread.?

Forge welding is the process of fusing two seperate pieces of metal together using only heat and pressure, which is one technique that is shown in the TV show. ?

The TV series is about bladesmiths competing to create 'history's most iconic edged weapons'.

Gomes, 51, was charged with felony reckless endangerment and misdemeanor arson.?He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday night and was jailed on $15,000 bail, the newspaper reported.?

Gomes was allegedly trying to bend metal in an attempt to imitate the History Channel television series 'Forged in Fire' when he started a barrel fire in his backyard that quickly spread
Fordged in Fire

Gomes was allegedly trying to bend metal in an attempt to imitate the History Channel television series 'Forged in Fire' (left and right) when he started a barrel fire in his backyard that quickly spread

Three buildings were destroyed (pictured), 18 others were damaged and at least 20 people were displaced

Three buildings were destroyed (pictured), 18 others were damaged and at least 20 people were displaced

Officials said the city is under a state of emergency. 'It is the worst disaster the city has ever seen,' Mayor Shawn Morse said during a news conference on Thursday. Firefighters worked several hours to control the multi-structure fire ?

Officials said the city is under a state of emergency. 'It is the worst disaster the city has ever seen,' Mayor Shawn Morse said during a news conference on Thursday. Firefighters worked several hours to control the multi-structure fire ?

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for next Tuesday.?

Assistant police Chief Tom Ross called the fire unintentional, or 'reckless arson'.

'We often tell people we don't allow open burns in the city and they often say, 'What's the worst that could happen?'' Morse said.?

'Well, this open burn just caused millions of dollars of damage and destroyed half our downtown.'

The blaze was brought under control about three hours after it began, but an hour later it started back up again.?

In the end, Morse said, three city blocks had been engulfed in smoke and flames.

A firefighter was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries, but no other injuries were reported.

A woman is in tears as firefighters from around the region work  to knock down the multi-alarm fire that consumed a number of buildings on Remsen Street

A woman is in tears as firefighters from around the region work to knock down the multi-alarm fire that consumed a number of buildings on Remsen Street

?The blaze was brought under control about three hours after it began, but an hour later it started back up again

?The blaze was brought under control about three hours after it began, but an hour later it started back up again

In the end, Morse said, three city blocks had been engulfed in smoke and flames

In the end, Morse said, three city blocks had been engulfed in smoke and flames

A firefighter was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries, but no other injuries were reported. Firefighters are seen combating the monstrous fire?

A firefighter was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries, but no other injuries were reported. Firefighters are seen combating the monstrous fire?

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