Wednesday, September 18, 2019

67 Year Old Woman Charged with Starting Fire in Pottsville in August

A Pottsville woman was charged after admitting to starting a fire back in August.

According to Pottsville Police Chief Richard Wojciechowsky, on Tuesday, August 20 2019, around 11:30am, Pottsville Police, Fire and EMS responded to the Pottsville Housing Authority (PHA) property of 1117 West Arch Street for a working structure fire.

Upon arrival first responders encountered visible flames coming from this unit and reports of possible entrapment. Fire personnel and police immediately began to fight the fire and firemen cleared the housing unit determining no one had been trapped inside.

A short time later the tenant resident, Marylou Barrett 67, was identified and interviewed on scene. During the course of this interview Barrett stated she had started the fire in the stairwell of the apartment.

The investigation into the fire origin conducted by Pottsville Fire Chief James Misstishin and PSP Fire Investigator John Burns determined findings consistent with the information provided by Barrett to police.

Based on the investigation a criminal complaint was prepared by Ptlm. Grant Yoder charging Barrett with Arson, Criminal Mischief, Causing or Risking a Catastrophe and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. The damage estimate provided for the incident by PHA was in excess of $100,000.

On September 16, 2019, Barrett was arraigned on the charges by Magisterial District Judge Kilker, Shenandoah, who set bail at $25,000 unsecured and released Barrett pending further court action.

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