- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (AP) - A judge has denied a motion to dismiss charges against a western New York teen accused of setting a fire that killed his friend earlier this year.

A Niagara County Family Court judge on Thursday denied the motion by the teen’s attorney to have the case dismissed. Prosecutors say the teen started the Aug. 10 blaze at a tire recycling plant in Lockport. Fourteen-year-old Joseph Phillips died in the blaze, which forced the evacuation of nearby homes.

The surviving teen’s attorney filed the motion because he says Phillips was actually the one who started the fire.

The teen’s name isn’t being released because he was 13 at the time of the fire. The charges against him include criminally negligent homicide, burglary and arson.

Officials say the fire the teens started spread quickly to recycling material throughout the property.

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