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Elaine Yeskie sues Anthony Baye in Northampton fires 

  • <br/><br/>JERREY ROBERTS<br/>Anthony Baye leaves Hampshire Superior Court after a pretrial hearing in December



    JERREY ROBERTS
    Anthony Baye leaves Hampshire Superior Court after a pretrial hearing in December Purchase photo reprints »

  • GAZETTE FILE PHOTO<br/>Elaine Yeskie, the widow and mother of two men killed in a Northampton house fire in 2009, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against alleged arsonist Anthony Baye.

    GAZETTE FILE PHOTO
    Elaine Yeskie, the widow and mother of two men killed in a Northampton house fire in 2009, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against alleged arsonist Anthony Baye. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS<br/>Elaine Yeskie, who survived a fire in her home at 17 Fair Street that claimed the life of her husband, Paul W. Yeskie, and her son, Paul W. Yeskie, Jr., sings Friday at the World War II Club during a spaghetti supper held to benefit the Northampton Neighbors Relief Fund. The fund benefits the victims of the Northampton arson fires.

    JERREY ROBERTS
    Elaine Yeskie, who survived a fire in her home at 17 Fair Street that claimed the life of her husband, Paul W. Yeskie, and her son, Paul W. Yeskie, Jr., sings Friday at the World War II Club during a spaghetti supper held to benefit the Northampton Neighbors Relief Fund. The fund benefits the victims of the Northampton arson fires. Purchase photo reprints »

  • <br/><br/>JERREY ROBERTS<br/>Anthony Baye leaves Hampshire Superior Court after a pretrial hearing in December
  • GAZETTE FILE PHOTO<br/>Elaine Yeskie, the widow and mother of two men killed in a Northampton house fire in 2009, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against alleged arsonist Anthony Baye.
  • JERREY ROBERTS<br/>Elaine Yeskie, who survived a fire in her home at 17 Fair Street that claimed the life of her husband, Paul W. Yeskie, and her son, Paul W. Yeskie, Jr., sings Friday at the World War II Club during a spaghetti supper held to benefit the Northampton Neighbors Relief Fund. The fund benefits the victims of the Northampton arson fires.

Paul W. Yeskie Sr. was a retired World War II veteran. His son, Paul Jr., who had a high-functioning form of autism, worked at the Florence Casket Co.

Elaine Yeskie and another woman, the late Carol Lapointe, escaped the blaze that night. Elaine Yeskie now lives in a new home built where her former home burned down.

The lawsuit filed in Hampshire Superior Court also states that the Yeskie men suffered conscious pain and suffering and that their deaths were allegedly caused by the “malicious, willful, wanton or reckless conduct of Baye.”

Yeskie’s Northampton attorney, Mark A. Tanner, said the lawsuit was filed to meet the three-year statute of limitations for such complaints.

“We’re approaching three years and it had to be filed,” he said, adding that Elaine Yeskie is “more than happy and willing to let the criminal process run its course.”

David Hoose, an attorney representing Baye in the criminal case, said he was not aware of the wrongful death lawsuit until a reporter contacted him about it Thursday. He said Baye would not comment.

Baye, 27, was arrested in January 2010 in connection with more than a dozen fires that were set in homes, cars and other structures, primarily in the Ward 3 neighborhood where he lived. A former kitchen worker at a downtown restaurant in Northampton, he remains jailed pending his May 2013 trial on charges including murder, arson and burglary.

The state Supreme Judicial Court in July threw out portions of Baye’s recorded interviews with police after the court ruled that the state troopers who interrogated Baye obtained statements from him improperly. As a result, some earlier charges against Baye were dropped.

Eight days later, however, Baye was re-indicted on 42 counts, including new arson charges related to an earlier series of fires in and around the Hawley Street neighborhood where he lived.

Dan Crowley can be reached at dcrowley@gazettenet.com.

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