Saugerties Man Arrested After Allegedly Setting Fiancés House On Fire
After a lengthy investigation, one man has been indicted as police say he intentionally set a house on fire.
Back in June, we shared the story about a suspicious house fire in Saugerties that was under investigation by local authorities. The two-alarm fire destroyed a single-family home located at 160 Route 32A in Saugerties, New York, and at the time of the fire, we spoke with the homeowner Jolene Hinchey, who at the time had reason to believe the fire was intentionally set.
Who Set the Fire?
A few days after the fire, Hinchey told us "we lost everything, but it could have been worse." Hinchey said she's thankful that she and her two daughters were not home at the time of the fire and couldn't understand how or why this happened.
She went on to say that the fire was under investigation as authorities had reason to believe that the blaze may have been intentionally set by someone in her life.
4 Month Investigation Leads to Indictment in Saugerties
According to the Saugerties Police Department, after four months of collecting evidence and interviewing folks involved in the fire, enough evidence has been submitted to an Ulster County Grand Jury, which has led to an indictment and arrest.
Timothy E Benzenhoefer
According to Crime Watch, Benzenhoefer has been indicted on numerous changes stemming from the house fire that he allegedly intentionally. Police took Benzenhoefer into custody on 10/21/22 and charged him with numerous felonies. He was charged with seven felonies and 2 misdemeanors including, burglary in the 2nd degree–dwelling (Felony), arson in the 3rd degree-intentionally damage (Felony), criminal mischief in the 2nd degree (Felony), criminal contempt of a court order in the 1st degree (Felony), 3 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals (Felony), 2 counts of an act in manner injury to a child less than 17-years of age (Misdemeanor).
Former Fiance Charged After Burning House Down
Benzenenhoefer was the former fiance of homeowner Hinchey which makes a story like this even more heartbreaking! We spoke to Jolene through text message today to check in to see how the family doing after news broke that an arrest has been made. Hinchey told us, "I'm heartbroken and hurt, to say the least. To know that's someone you love and we're going to marry would do this to me and my kids is just unbearable!"
Jolene went on to tell us that she's amazed by the amount of support from the community in her time of need, "The Saugerties community opened up an account at Sawyer saving bank here in town for people if they would like to make a donation." A GoFundme page is still available online as well.
Jolene told us that the burnt house is still standing and she has decided to have the remains taken down now that the investigation is done and put the property up[ for sale, "my kids are scared to death to go back to the property so I have decided to pay off my mortgage and I put the property up for sale." Jolene ended our talk by saying, thank you for the support! It’s such a terrible thing to have to go through I can’t even explain what the last few months have been like for us."