Woman faces arson, disorderly conduct charges after house fire in Belton

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Julie Ann Ashley – Courtesy of the Anderson County Detention Center

BELTON, SC (WSPA) – Belton Police Department officials said a woman faces an arson charge after admitting to setting her house on fire on Tuesday.

According to a news release, firefighters and police responded to the fire on Smythe Street.

As officers were arriving at the scene, another officer requested assistance at the intersection of Smythe Street and Breazeale, where a fight was occurring between two people.

A woman left the scene of the fight, but was caught by an officer near the intersection of Breazeale and Blake Mill Road. The woman was reportedly intoxicated and struggled with officers.

The woman, identified as Julie Ann Ashley, 56, was taken into custody, where she told officers she had set her house on fire and wanted it to burn.

Police said based on her statement, officers went to the fire scene where Belton firefighters had put out the fire that involved the home’s gas stove.

“Evidence indicated the fire had been deliberately set and the kitchen suffered significant damage as a result,” Belton Police Chief Robert Young said. “Officers were able to confirm that Ashley was indeed the resident of the house and neighbors had seen her leave just moments before the fire department arrived.”

She was charged with second-degree arson and disorderly conduct.

Officers took Ashley to the Anderson County Detention Center, where she is awaiting a bond hearing.

Fire department crews secured the home.

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