Owner of Margaretville building charged with arson

After a fire gutted an apartment building on Main Street Margaretville on Saturday, September 17, deputies from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office arrested the man who owns the building -- 58-year-old Eugene E. Gundelach -- on charges of arson.

The police allege that Gundelach set fire to his own flood-damaged building in an attempt to collect on his insurance policy. The building, according to police, was not covered by flood insurance.

The building, located at 688 Main Street next to Ming Moon, was a blackened husk at 4:30pm on Saturday. Ming Moon appeared unharmed and is reportedly open for business. 

The press release from the Sheriff's Office came in at 6:30pm last night. Here it is in full:


September 17, 2011

From the Investigators today arrested 58 year old Eugene E. Gundelach, of Margaretville. Gundelach is charged with one count of Arson in the Third Degree, a Class C Felony. Gundelach is accused of setting fire to a building he owns at 688 Main Street, Margaretville, in an apparent attempt to collect on his fire insurance policy. The building, which had been previously damaged by recent flooding, was not covered by flood insurance. Gundelach will be arraigned in the Town of Middletown Court later this date. The investigation is ongoing, and additional charges are possible JJM

10/6/11 update: After an investigation, officials determined on September 30 that the fire began accidentally. Arson charges against Gundelach are being dropped. For more, read our update here.