Tega Cay homeowner accused of setting own house on fire

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comNovember 2, 2013 

— A Tega Cay homeowner has been been accused of setting his own house on fire, officials said.

Richard Fekete, 61, was arrested Friday night and charged with one count of arson third degree and two counts of burning to commit insurance fraud, said Trent Faris, spokesman for the York County Sheriff's Office.

Donnie Helms, a York County fire investigator, said the Oct 22 fire on Gold Hill Road had appeared suspicious.

The fire destroyed the home. Helms said the house was a total loss. The property has an assessed valuation of $241,000.

The day of the fire, Fekete said he was at work at Gold Hill Automotive when a neighbor called him about 10 a.m. No one was home at the time of the blaze, he said, and the neighbor called 911.

Fekete said he has lived at the home for seven years.

No injuries were reported, officials said.

“We’re looking at the cause and the origin,” Helms said. “It’s like a big, giant puzzle, and we use a lot of tools and see what works.”

The York County Department of Fire Safety, the York County Sheriff’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division are investigating.

Fekete is being held at the York County Detention Center, according to the sheriff's office.

Michael Harrison •  803-547-2353

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