Search underway for man accused in Oneonta fatal fire

Former Oneonta firefighter John Heller, who was supposed to get married this October, was killed in the fire on Walling Avenue on December 29.

Posted: Apr 19, 2019 9:56 AM

ONEONTA, N.Y. -- The search is on for the man police say set the fire in Oneonta back in December that killed a former firefighter.

According to AllOtsego.com, Gabriel Truitt, the brother of Terrence Truitt who was originally arrested for the crime but then cleared of those charges, has now been indicted.

Gabriel Truitt is charged with murder and arson.

Former Oneonta firefighter John Heller, who was supposed to get married this October, was killed in the fire on Walling Avenue on December 29.

Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl told All Otsego that it's believed Gabriel Truitt planned to set the fire to kill his girlfriend, but instead those flames spread to the upper floor killing Heller, who managed to save his fiancée and three nephews who spent the night, by getting them out of the fire escape but he died inside.

Muehl believes Gabriel Truitt's brother Terrance, went over to the home because he knew about an argument between his brother and his girlfriend. He feared something would happen, and was covered in soot and was burned, which led to his initial arrest.

Gabriel Truitt reportedly operated Tru-Cuts, a barbershop on Ford Avenue in Oneonta, but that business has since emptied out.

He was last known to be in Connecticut, but may not be there now.

NewsChannel 2 did speak with Oneonta police Thursday night who say right now they do not have a picture of Truiit to share.

Anyone who knows of Gabriel Truitt's whereabouts is asked to call Oneonta police at 607-432-1113.

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