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Police believe they have suspects responsible for 70-plus arson fires

ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) –Virginia State Police believe that they have the people in custody that are responsible for a majority of the Accomack arsons.

Charlie Applegate, formerly with the Tasley Volunteer Fire Company, and his fiancee Tonya Bundick were pulled over during a traffic stop last night after an arson in Melfa, Virginia.

Geller said that a minivan was observed near the fire that occurred shortly before midnight.

They were taken into custody without incident.

This morning Bundick, 40, was charged with one count of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson, according to Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.. Charlie Applegate was later charged with one count of arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson.

“Based on evidence collected since this morning, and during the course of the investigation over the past five months, we are confident that Bundick and Smith are responsible for a majority of the fires set since Nov. 12 last year,” Geller said. “We are very confident there are a significant number of charges to come.”

No one was hurt in Monday night’s structure fire. Geller did say that with every fire there was always a chance of injury. Monday night’s fire brings the arson count up to 77, with two others attempted.

State police and Accomack County Sheriff’s Deputies will continue to investigate the 77 arson fires that have burned in the county since mid-November. 

However, Geller said that this is “the beginning of the end.” Geller noted that, based on evidence, it appears there were a handful of fires started for other motives, and not by Bundick and Applegate.

This is a developing story. Joe St. George will have a full report beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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