Local Woman Jailed After Allegedly Setting Fire to Washington Township Residence, Resisting Arrest

A local woman is behind bars after she allegedly admitted that she set her Washington Township residence on fire.

Jacob Deemer

Jacob Deemer

Published March 29, 2024 8:35 am
Last Updated: March 30, 2024 6:30 am
Local Woman Jailed After Allegedly Setting Fire to Washington Township Residence, Resisting Arrest

CLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) — A local woman is behind bars for allegedly setting fire to her Washington Township residence.

According to court documents, Marienville-based State Police filed criminal charges against 57-year-old Theresa M. Stoughton, of Lickingville, in District Judge Timothy P. Schill’s office on Monday, March 25.

According to a criminal complaint, PSP Marienville troopers were dispatched on Wednesday, February 28, around 8:47 p.m., to an active domestic between two known females at a residence located at 2897 Lickingville Road, in Washington Township, Clarion County.

Before the troopers arrived, members of the Washington Township Fire Department requested PSP Marienville to speed up their assistance because Theresa M. Stoughton was becoming physical with involved parties on the scene, the complaint states.

Minutes later, Trooper Justin Schmader arrived on the scene and observed the white two-story residence engulfed in flames. He was familiar with this residence due to prior incidents with the residence owner, Theresa Stoughton, who is known to abuse alcohol, according to the complaint.

Stoughton was located sitting in the front yard of her daughter’s residence across the road. The heat from the residence could be felt standing in the front yard, the complaint notes.

According to the complaint, Stoughton was seen laughing as she was watching her house burn.

The complaint states that as troopers were interviewing other parties, part of the roof to the structure fell into the fire, and Stoughton began to cheer and clap.

Witnesses on the scene told police Stoughton admitted to starting the fire, the complaint continues.

According to the complaint, she then tried to stand up and leave the yard. Trooper Cyphert advised her to stay sitting on the ground, and she began to stand up and yell obscenities at Trooper Cyphert who again instructed her to remain seated. Stoughton failed to follow the verbal commands and began to “come towards” Trooper Cyphert. He then grabbed her arm and began to place her hands behind her back. During this, Stoughton was actively trying to spit on him.

After a spit sock was placed over Stoughton’s head, she was transported to the front of a patrol vehicle. Stoughton continued to spit while the spit sock was over her head, the complaint notes.

Troopers conducted an interview with Stoughton; she was asked if she understood the form. She stated, “(expletive) you,” and later stated that she had “a lot” of beers throughout the day, the complaint states.

Stoughton allegedly admitted to police that she lit her house on fire because she “felt like it.” She then explained that she used a lighter to ignite the living room curtains, the complaint indicates.

When asked why she felt like doing that, Stoughton stated, “I wanted them to know I started it.” When asked who she wanted to know, she stated “everybody,” the complaint continues.

Stoughton also told police she is taking “all kinds” of medication and the last time she slept was “last night for 10 minutes,” the complaint notes.

A trooper came over and asked Stoughton if her house was insured. She stated “(expletive) you, yes,” the complaint states.

Trooper Schmader asked Stoughton if she needed medical attention, and she related yes. When Trooper Schmader asked why, she stated because “I’m (expletive) crazy,” according to the complaint.

Stoughton later told police she estimated she drank “100” beers throughout the day, the complaint indicates.

According to the complaint, she further admitted that she lit her house on fire, “just to watch it burn.” Then, she later allegedly stated that she used rubbing alcohol to start the fire.

Stoughton was arraigned at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, on the following charges in front of Judge Schill:

  • Arson – Danger of Death or Bodily Injury, Felony 1
  • Arson-Intent Destroy Unoccupied Building, Felony 2
  • Reckless Burning or Exploding – Places Uninhabited or Unoccupied Structure in Danger of Damage or Destruction, Felony 3
  • Failure to Control/Report Dangerous Fire, Misdemeanor 1
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2
  • Dangerous Burning, Summary
  • Harassment – Subject Other to Physical Contact, Summary
  • Disorderly Conduct Hazardous/Physical Offense, Summary

Unable to post $50,000.00 monetary bail, she was lodged in the Clarion County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, at 8:45 a.m. with Judge Schill presiding.

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