Wednesday, July 30 – Restaurant Employee Charged in Boardwalk Fire

OCEAN CITY- A Worcester County grand jury on Tuesday indicted a local man on several counts of arson for allegedly setting the March 30 fire on the south end of the Boardwalk that consumed the Dough Roller restaurant and severely damaged the adjacent Marty’s Playland.

The grand jury on Tuesday formally indicted Gregory W. Wallace Kern, 48, of Ocean City, with two counts of first-degree arson for allegedly setting the fire that destroyed the apartments over the businesses and two counts of second-degree arson for the businesses themselves. Kern, who was an employee of the Dough Roller at the time, was also charged with one count of reckless endangerment.

The Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office, with assistance from the Ocean City Police Department, conducted an extensive investigation in the weeks and months after the fire. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Fire Marshal’s Office developed probable cause to believe Kern had set the fire to the Dough Roller and Marty’s Playland.

The maximum penalty for each count of first-degree arson is 30 years in jail and a $50,000 fine. The maximum penalty for each count of second-degree assault is 20 years and a $30,000 fine. In addition, the maximum penalty for reckless endangerment is five years and $5,000. Kern was taken into custody by the OCPD and his being held at the Worcester County Jail. Bond was set by Judge Theodore Eschenberg at $50,000.