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Woman accused of setting fire to ex-husband’s home

A Coaldale woman scheduled for a preliminary hearing on charges related to arson elected to waive her hearing directly to the Schuylkill County Courts on Tuesday.

Michelle Weaver, 44, of 42 W. Ridge St., Coaldale, was charged with three felony counts of arson, a felony count of criminal mischief, a felony count of criminal trespass and two misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.

The charges stem from an Oct. 14 fire at the home of David and Amy Weaver, 401 E. Ridge St., Coaldale, and were filed by Coaldale Patrolman Dino Dermargosian.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Weaver went to the home of her ex-husband and his current wife around 8 p.m. that day. She approached the garage and attached shed, then went to the home’s side porch steps before leaving the area. Security cameras captured her movements, showing heavy smoke coming from the garage as she left that area. The footage also showed a bright light that appeared to be fire as Weaver was in the side porch area. The woman’s left hand and arm appeared to be in flames as she left the home.

The homeowners were able to put out the fire on the side porch, while volunteer firefighters tackled the garage/shed flames. Two volunteer firefighters, Kyle Zwiesdak and Timothy Harkins, were injured, resulting in both men’s being hospitalized. Destroyed by the flames were a Toyota pick up truck, four motorcycles, tools and various other items.

State Police Fire Marshall Joseph Hall determined the fire was intentionally set, with the cause as arson.

Weaver was contacted by police shortly after the fire. She appeared to be intoxicated. There was a burn mark and singed hair on her left wrist. She was taken into custody and arraigned. Bail was initially set at $100,000 straight cash but was later reduced to $20,000 straight cash, which Weaver was not able to post.

She remains in the Schuylkill County prison in Pottsville.