Duquesne woman charged with arson after a fire at her home

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A Duquesne woman arrested on charges she lit fire to her home while four other people were inside told police she did not start the blaze intentionally, according to court documents.

Lynn Kennedy, 31, was being held Monday in the Allegheny County Jail on charges she started a fire Sunday that destroyed the home at 110 Ross St.. Ms. Kennedy's boyfriend, his 2-year-old daughter and two others were inside the home at the time, police said.

Everyone made it out of the home without injury. One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.

Ms. Kennedy faces charges of arson, causing or risking a catastrophe, recklessly endangering another person and drug charges, after police said they found what they suspect are cocaine and marijuana.

Allegheny County police wrote in a criminal complaint that Ms. Kennedy's boyfriend, Nathanial Champion, told them he and Ms. Kennedy fought over the past week and that he called police on her a few days earlier.

Mr. Champion could not be reached Monday.

Ms. Kennedy, police wrote, went out with friends Saturday night and began yelling when she came home, threatening to burn down her home and another. She left after police came to the home.

She returned 10 minutes later, broke a front window, began tossing things and said, "If I can't live here, no one can," according to the complaint. Witnesses told police Ms. Kennedy lit garbage and clothing on fire on top of the stove.

She refused to leave the house and "fought with" and "verbally abused" officers who removed her from it while the fire burned, according to the complaint.

When police questioned Ms. Kennedy, she denied intentionally setting the fire -- saying it was possible that she tossed something on the stove, where someone had been cooking onion rings with oil earlier in the day, or that someone had "flicked a cigarette at her" and perhaps that started the blaze.

She admitted to threatening to burn the home down, police said. But, they wrote, she said she "owned the house and would not do such a thing because it would not be fiscally responsible."

Court and county real estate records show Ms. Kennedy has not paid property taxes for the years 2012 or 2013.

Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil. First Published November 11, 2013 1:38 PM

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