Police: Fatal Fire in Hudson Valley Was Likely Suicide, Arson
Following a large fire that destroyed a home a Hudson Valley man was found dead with a gunshot wound.
The Sullivan County Sheriff and District Attorney in conjunction with the Sullivan County Bureau of Fire are investigating a possible arson and suicide in the Town of Bethel.
Early Saturday morning, around 1:10 a.m., the Sullivan County 911 center received a call of an explosion and fire at 73 Lake Street in Kauneonga Lake. The fire department and sheriff’s’ units responded and found a residence at that location fully engulfed, with flames shooting up as high as the tree line, police say.
Two occupants on the second floor and two occupants on the first floor were able to escape without injury. Firefighters from the Kauneonga Lake, Swan Lake, White Lake, Monticello and Rock Hill Fire Departments responded to the scene to extinguish the fire, with Mobile Medic Ambulance standing by.
At 4:15 AM, Sullivan County Bureau of Fire Investigators notified deputies that a body had been found in the rubble. The Sullivan County District Attorney and Coroners’ Offices were also notified.
A coroner responded to the scene and ordered the body to be removed to Garnet Hospital in Harris for a postmortem examination. An autopsy was conducted on Sunday and the deceased was tentatively identified as Gennady Ainshtein, 49, of White Lake.
Ainshtein appeared to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say. While the incident remains under investigation, detectives believe the fire may have been intentionally set, according to the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.