Man charged with arson following fire that destroyed home, barn in Delaware

Thursday, November 02, 2017 08:32PM
Fire that destroyed home, barn in Del. ruled arson. Jeff Chirico reports during Action News at 4pm on November 2, 2017.

TOWNSEND, Del. - Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office has arrested a man in connection with a fire that destroyed a home and a barn in Townsend, Delaware.

Christopher Gregg, 41, was charged with two counts of arson for the fire Thursday morning at a home in the 300 block of VanDyke Greenspring Road.

Authorities said Gregg has been arraigned and remanded to the Howard Young Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 secured bail.
RAW VIDEO: Townsend fire

The blaze broke out before 8:40 a.m

Video from Action News viewer Heather Orkis showed heavy smoke and flames coming from the structure.

Firefighters struck a second and third alarm before the blaze was declared under control just before 10 a.m.

The fire caused some $250,000 worth of damage.

No injuries were reported.

The buildings predate the Revolutionary War and are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Called the Vandyke Heath House, it was home to a family of three and had been expanded twice in the 1800's.

"You have a house inside a house. You have void spaces, balloon construction, so the fire on the first floor runs up the walls without stopping. A very difficult structure fire to extinguish," said Asst. State Fire Marshal Michael Chionchio.

By early afternoon, investigators brought in an arson dog to sniff for possible accelerants. Chionchio believes the fire was intentionally set.

"The house was set on fire first, then the detached garage was set on fire. Both arson," he said.

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