TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly announced Monday that Matthew Woelfersheim, 45, the former Schaghticoke Fire Chief, has been sentenced to 12 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to arson and other charges. The original guilty plea took place on February 1 in Rensselaer County Court, before Judge Jennifer G. Sober.

On September 2, 2020, Woelfersheim was found to have entered a building located at 165 4th Street in Troy, where he set fire to a bag of charcoal causing the building to be engulfed in flames. The defendant then ran from the scene and was found a few hours later. The building sustained fire, smoke, water, and structural damage as a result of the fire. There were two people home at the time.

“We are appreciative of the Troy Police Department and the Troy Fire Department for identifying this crime as arson and responding quickly, to avoid any loss of life,” said District Attorney Mary Pat
Donnelly.

Original guilty plea:

  • Second-degree arson (Violent Felony)
  • Third-degree criminal mischief (Felony)
  • Fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property
  • Aggravated driving while intoxicated (Misdemeanor)

Woelfersheim will spend the next 12 years behind bars for his actions. The cases were prosecuted by Chief Assistance District Attorney Matthew Hauf.