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Insurance company says Morley bar owners behind 2010 fire

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CANTON – The insurance company for the former Morley Long Branch bar-restaurant say the owners intentionally burned the bar down in 2010.

In a third-party complaint filed in state Supreme Court Wednesday, Dreyden Insurance Co. alleges Gerald F. Woods, Canton, burned the building down after consulting with the bar’s owner — his wife, Carrie Woods.

This complaint against Mr. Woods comes after a July 7 lawsuit filed by Ms. Woods against the insurance company for not paying her claim.

Dreyden Insurance Co. is seeking a judgment against Mr. Woods for costs involved in investigating and defending the case. According to court documents, they also want a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Ms. Woods.

Ms. Woods’s attorney, John Muldowney, Malone, said this has been the insurance company’s position from the beginning, but it’s without facts.

“It’s absolutely not true,” Mr. Muldowney said. “There’s not a bit of evidence.”

He said the case has created thousands of pages of documents, including many depositions, and nothing leads to a conspiracy of arson.

St. Lawrence County Detective Sgt. Augustus J. “Gus” Burns said in July he was sure the fire was arson.

“We’ve never doubted it,” Mr. Burns said in July. “We have video evidence of someone going into the building.”

But no criminal charges have been filed since the May 2010 fire.

The Morley bar, 7235 County Route 27, was appraised in 2010 at $250,000.

The property has since been sold.

Mr. Burns and attorneys for the insurance company did not return phone messages seeking comment.

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