The crime of arson is generally the intentional setting on fire or bombing of the building or real property of another. The least serious arson charge in New York state is arson in the fifth degree, a misdemeanor charge. Arson in first through fourth degrees are all felony charges with differing punishments.
First degree arson is the most serious, being a Class A-1 felony that involves specific intent with malice. It may involve injury to innocent victims, committing arson for monetary compensation, or the knowledge that innocent persons will likely be in the targeted building. The New York State Police recently arrested a 54-year-old man from Pittsfield, MA, on fourth-degree arson charges. The charges involve a fire that destroyed the New York State Thruway Larchmont salt shed.