Man accused of setting Vandalia gym fires indicted

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

A Montgomery County grand jury indicted a Moraine man in connection to multiple fires that were set a Vandalia gym in March.

Christopher Herbst, 28, is facing two counts of aggravated arson, one count of tampering with evidence and three misdemeanor counts of arson, according to the grand jury report. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

The charges stem from multiple fires at M-Power Gym on North Dixie Drive.

On March 20, Herbst is accused of breaking a window at the back of the gym and setting fires between 3 and 6:10 a.m., according to Vandalia Municipal Court records.

An investigation revealed a person, later identified as Herbst, set a bottle of Patron on fire that had ignitable fluid in it as well as a rag. The suspect put it through a window and onto combustible items, according to an affidavit.

The suspect reportedly attempted to reignite the bottle and throw it further at one point. The suspect also set multiple fires near the gym’s exit and a dumpster.

Multiple people contacted fire investigators and identified the suspect as Herbst after a release was published asking for the public’s help, according to court records.

Cellphone records reportedly put Herbst’s phone in the area of the gym around the time of the fires and GPS activity match the movements of the suspect that were captured on surveillance cameras, according to court documents.

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