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Coaldale woman gets prison for torching ex-husband’s house

Published September 25. 2018 02:07PM

A former Coaldale woman will spend the next three to 10 years behind bars in state prison for setting her ex-husband’s house and garage on fire, injuring two firefighters.

Michelle O. Weaver, 45, of Lansford, pleaded guilty to two counts of arson, and one count each of criminal trespass, criminal mischief and recklessly endangering another person.

One additional count of arson-danger of death or bodily injury, arson endangering property-reckless endangerment of inhabited buildings, and recklessly endangering another person were dropped.

According to court documents, on Oct. 14, 2017, Weaver went to the house, occupied by her ex-husband and his wife, in the 400 block of East Ridge Street, Coaldale, at about 8 p.m. that day.

Security cameras recorded her approaching the garage and attached shed, then going to the home’s side porch steps before leaving, her left arm in flames.

The cameras showed heavy smoke coming from the garage as Weaver left, and a bright light that appeared to be fire while she was in the side porch.

The homeowners were able to extinguish the fire on the side porch. Volunteer firefighters fought the blaze in the garage and shed.

Two volunteer firefighters, Kyle Zwiesdak and Timothy Harkins, were injured and had to be hospitalized.

A Toyota pickup, four motorcycles, tools and various other items were destroyed.

State Police Fire Marshal Joseph Hall determined the fire was intentionally set.

Police contacted Weaver shortly after the fire. She appeared to be intoxicated, and there was a burn mark and singed hair on her left wrist.

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