Woman Who Caught Leaves, Sticks, Paper on Fire in Oven Facing Risking Catastrophe Charges
(Photos by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography)
Court documents indicate the Clarion Borough Police Department filed the following criminal charges against 40-year-old Amy Lynn Eyth:
– Risking Catastrophe, Felony 3
According to a criminal complaint, around 3:15 p.m. on September 11, a structure fire was reported at an apartment building located at 21 Shady Avenue, in Clarion Borough.
Clarion County Control reported there was still an occupant inside the structure.
According to the complaint, when police arrived at the scene, they found the front door of the apartment open and two women inside. The women were then ordered out of the residence.
The oven in the residence was very hot, smoking, and appeared to have damage on the outside, but the fire was not active. Clarion Fire & Hose Company No. 1 then arrived at the scene and assessed the stove. Chief Doug Preston, of Clarion Fire & Hose Company No. 1, then found a plate in the broiler of the oven with foil folded into a yellow envelope and several other papers, leaves, and sticks, according to the complaint.
The complaint notes the apartment was part of a building of row-style apartments located on both sides.
Police then spoke to the renter of the apartment, identified as Amy Lynn Eyth.
Eyth stated she placed the items in the oven for “safekeeping” as she was packing up the night before to move. She told police she then lit the oven to heat up chicken wings and went upstairs to wait for it to pre-heat, and when she came downstairs, she found smoke in the apartment, according to the complaint.
Police also spoke to a neighbor who stated she was inside her residence cooking when she smelled paper burning. Her kitchen smoke detector then activated, and her kitchen started to fill with smoke. She checked her own home for a source of the smoke and didn’t find anything, then ran out and knocked on Eyth’s door.
The woman told police that Eyth answered and said: “My stove is on fire.” She reported she told Eyth to call 9-1-1, then ran back to her own apartment, got her fire extinguisher, and ran back to Eyth’s apartment. She said she opened the bottom of the stove, which was filled with paper and began extinguishing the fire.
The complaint notes when she asked Eyth if she called 9-1-1, Eyth said she had not and stated: “I can’t find my phone.” The woman then called 9-1-1. She also stated Eyth then went back into the apartment until emergency services arrived.
Police also interviewed the owner of the building.
According to the complaint, the owner reported that in August, she was in Eyth’s apartment and noticed all of the smoke detectors had been taken out and placed on the back porch in the rain. The owner said she placed a brand new smoke detector in the doorway connecting to the kitchen and told Eyth to leave it in place as it is illegal not to have a smoke detector.
The complaint notes at the time of the fire, the smoke detector was taken down, and another one was located upstairs with the batteries taken out.
A preliminary arraignment is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15, with Judge Quinn presiding.
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