Officials with the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency said an arrest has been made in the blaze last August that destroyed 26 boats at Island Cove Marina on Lake Chickamauga.
Jerry E. White Sr. was charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson and insurance fraud charges.
He was taken into custody in Floyd County, Ga.
Authorities said the Rossville, Ga., man found someone to burn his houseboat and that started the fire that caused $5 million in losses.
Two people were injured and a large portion of the dock was lost.
White was on vacation in Florida at the time, a federal indictment said.
It was claimed two other men set the fire to obtain $35,000 in insurance payments. The two men have not been indicted.
White lives on Dry Valley Road.
The indictment says White conspired with Stanley Dennison and Tommy Muse to burn his boat.
It was claimed that when White obtained insurance on the boat he concealed his previous history of fir and other losses affecting property he owned.
The indictment says in June 1999 White approached Dennison and recruited him to burn the boat in exchange for forgiveness of a $5,700 debt.
Authorities said at about 3:40 a.m. on Aug. 9, 1999, Dennison, with the help of Muse, set fire to the boat, using road flares and paint thinner.
The arson charge carries a minimum mandatory sentence of seven years in prison due to injuries occurring.
The use of fire in connection with wire fraud carries a mandatory consecutive 10 years in prison.
The maximum penalty for all charges in the indictment is a fine of $1,250,000 and a prison sentence of 70 years, including 17 that are mandatory.