Roommate Charged in Fire that Destroyed Wentzville Home

Burned House on Stone Run

A Wentzville man has been charged with first-degree arson in a fire that destroyed a home in the Villages of Stonegate subdivision Sunday evening.

According to the probable cause statement, Benjamin S. Gunnett, 40, was one of four people living in the home in the 200 block of Stone Run Boulevard.

Police had been called to the home an hour before the fire after Gunnett called 911 to report that people were shining lights in his windows. Gunnett had also woken up one of his roommates, who described Gunnett’s behavior as “psychotic.”

After the fire was reported, a witness said that she had seen the garage on fire, had seen Gunnett standing in the driveway, and that Gunnett had admitted to setting the fire. When the three other occupants left the house, Gunnett ran away, she said.

Gunnett was apprehended by police and taken to the hospital for evaluation. While there, he again admitted to setting the fire.

The home next door sustained significant damage.

Gunnett was charged with first degree arson, which is a felony. Bond was set at $200,000, 10 percent not authorized, cash only. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victims.