Man faces arson charges for apartment fire
BOYERTOWN » Police have charged a Boyertown man they allege set fire to his apartment building after barricading himself inside.
Christian Genuardi, 43, of Boyertown, is facing charges after police say they responded to a Boyertown apartment building for a report of a barricaded man starting a fire on Sunday.
Officers responded to Apt. 202 at 131 E. Philadelphia Ave. at around 6 a.m. on Sept. 2, according to the affidavit of probable cause. The caller told police that he was using a fire extinguisher to put out flames that were coming from the door of Genuardi’s apartment.
Once police arrived, Genuardi told officers that he would not open the door unless they stood in front of it and he could
see them, according to court documents. He refused to open the door several more times before eventually unlocking it. Police allege in the affidavit that Genuardi resisted their attempts to secure him in the back of a patrol car while they investigated. Genuardi began kicking the windows of the police vehicle once he was placed inside, police said.
Officers learned that emergency responders had been called earlier by Genuardi’s mother in order to take him to the hospital but that he refused to come out of the apartment when they arrived.
Police interviewed several tenants who were home at the time. One tenant, who made the call to police said he had been in front of Genuardi’s apartment door when he saw smoke and flames coming out of the bottom of his door. He then grabbed the extinguisher and put out the flames. Not long after, the flames started again and he put them out a second time. The tenant said Genuardi refused to open the door.
State police were called to the scene to investigate the fire. Samples from the scene as well as a security system were taken from the apartment. In addition, troopers found at least two smoke detectors destroyed or taken down from where they were mounted, as well as fire damage to the exterior and interior apartment door, burns on the carpet and smoke and fumes inside.
Trooper Janssen Herb, who investigated the scene of the fire determined the fire was incendiary and was started by someone in the apartment, according to court documents.
Genuardi is being charged with arson, causing catastrophe, resisting arrest and several counts of recklessly endangering another person.
Authorities said as of Tuesday, he had not yet been arraigned.