The house at 403 Fifth Ave. W. sits blackened the morning of Dec. 7, 2011, after two fires were reported there earlier that morning. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune
This house in Ellendale is blackened the morning of Dec. 7, 2011, after two fires were reported there earlier that morning. -- Herald file photo

Area couple charged with arson

Published 8:51am Friday, May 17, 2013

ELLENDALE — An Ellendale couple is facing multiple charges in Steele County District Court for allegedly starting their own house on fire two times in the same night a year and a half ago.

The house, on the 400 block of W. Fifth Avenue, was left uninhabitable by the blaze and has remained standing — blackened by fire — since that night in December 2011. Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office previously said they suspected arson.

Mark Allan Misgen, 42, faces charges of first-degree arson of a dwelling and insurance fraud, while his wife, Sara Ellen Degen-Misgen, 39, faces charges of aiding and abetting first-degree arson and insurance fraud.

The couple owned Maggio’s Pizza in Ellendale and Mystic Pizza in Lonsdale at the time.

Court documents state the couple was reportedly having financial difficulties.

Arson carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.


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