Arson added to charges in Mauertown house fire

By Joe Beck

A fire Sunday night that damaged a home at 2605 Zion Church Road in Mauertown was caused by arson, Shenandoah County Fire Marshal David A. Ferguson said Tuesday.

Ferguson’s conclusion led to new charges being filed against Daniel Paul Bowden, who had been charged earlier in the week with several offenses linked to the fire at his home.

Bowden, 49, of 2605 Zion Church Road, was charged with burning or destroying an occupied building, and burning or destroying personal property as a result of Ferguson’s investigation into the fire.

Bowden was already facing charges of attempted malicious wounding causing bodily injury and public drunkenness, both of which were filed after his arrest at the fire scene.

Ferguson also said in a news release that a pet cat died in the fire, which resulted in a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals filed against Bowden.

Ferguson said firefighters from the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue, and volunteers from the Toms Brook, Woodstock and Strasburg stations were called to the scene at about 11:18 p.m. Sunday.

Ferguson said the first fire and rescue unit to arrive at the home reported heavy smoke. The fire was brought under control at about 11:50 p.m., and fire and rescue units returned to their stations around 1:14 a.m., Ferguson said.

Ferguson estimated damage to the 3,300-square-foot, one-story house at $15,000 to $20,000. The house has been under construction since 2012.

“It’s a very nice house, and it was very close to being completed,” Ferguson said.

Authorities say Daniel Bowden rammed his pickup truck into a car occupied by his wife, Lena, before Daniel Bowden entered the house and set fire to the structure. The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office reported the couple had been fighting off and on throughout the weekend.

Lena Bowden said a family member is organizing a fundraiser to help her pay for the costs related to the fire.

Lena Bowden, who owns the home, said in an interview Wednesday that she did not have fire insurance.

“I will after this, you can believe that,” Bowden said, referring to having a fire insurance policy.

The fundraiser is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 5 or 6 p.m. May 31 on a riverside lot on Zion Church Road home near the Bowden home. Anyone wishing to stay overnight at a campsite can do so by making a donation upon arrival at the fundraiser, Bowden said.

Horseshoe pitching and other games will be available along with food donated by Fox’s Pizza in Front Royal, Bowden said.

Balloons will be placed along Zion Church Road to help guide motorists to the site of the fundraiser, Bowden said.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com