Investigators say a 20-year-old man has acknowledged setting several fires, including one that tore through an Otsego County church.

GERALD ALTHISER JR. (Photo: New York State Police)
GERALD ALTHISER JR. (Photo: New York State Police)

Authorities say Gerald Althiser Jr. of Springfield Center has been charged with third-degree arson, a felony. He also faces a misdemeanor count of fifth-degree arson.

According to New York State Police, Althiser was arrested on Saturday for allegedly starting fires in two campers.

Police say during the investigation, Althiser admitted he set the fire that destroyed the Milford United Methodist Church on Route 28 in the town of Milford. That blaze occurred on March 12.

Althiser was arraigned in Hartwick town court and sent to Otsego County Jail.

Police say the investigation is continuing with assistance from Otsego County fire investigators.

A post on the Milford United Methodist Church website indicates the congregation has decided to "move forward and rebuild."

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