Margaretville landlord didn't start fire, authorities say

Eugene E. Gundelach, the owner of the Margaretville building on Main Street that burned down on September 17, is no longer being accused of starting the fire, according to the Catskill Mountain News.

Gundelach was arrested on September 17 after the blaze was subdued and charged with arson. The police accused him of setting the fire to collect insurance on the building, which was damaged by flooding at the end of August. The building had no flood insurance.

But now, authorities are exonerating Gundelach from any wrongdoing.

The Delaware County arson investigator on the case, James Olmstead, determined that the fire began in a clothes dryer, he told the News:

"After a thorough investigation, we determined that the cause was accidental," said investigator Olmstead. "The fire started in the clothes dryer and there was a short in the clothes dryer."

The News reported that the arson charges against Gundelach are in the process of being dropped.