Renter charged with arson

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Friday the 13th proved to be a bad day for at least one Suffolk resident. The fire marshal charged her with setting fire to a home she shared with a friend.

Suffolk Police have filed warrants for the arrest of Desiree W. Williams, 34, of the 200 block of Webb Street. She is charged with arson in relation to the fire that took place at 4:16 p.m. last Friday.

Suffolk’s Emergency Management Coordinator Capt. Jim Judkins said Williams came under scrutiny in an investigation by Suffolk Fire Marshal Capt. Arthur G. Barrett.

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&uot;Capt. Barrett charged Williams with the crime after learning that she had been involved in a domestic dispute with a second resident of the home, Haskel Wilson,&uot; said Judkins. &uot;Police responded to a call prior to the fire, when Williams asked them to have Wilson leave the premises.&uot;

According to Judkins, Barrett’s investigation revealed that Williams took the &uot;love letters&uot; written to her by Wilson and set them on fire atop their bed.

&uot;Once she realized what she’d done, Williams tried unsuccessfully to beat the fire out with a pillow,&uot; Judkins explained. &uot;The fire spread across the bed to the curtains and then spread throughout the bedroom.

The home is owned by Frank W. Sheffer and the $30,000 residence sustained an estimated $15,000 in fire damage, with about $5,000 worth of damages to the couple’s $10,000 worth of contents. Judkins said the fire was contained within the rear bedroom, however, heat and smoke severely damaged the four-bedroom structure.