NORWOOD, N.Y. (WWNY) - A 44 year old former Norwood woman has been arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed the apartment where she used to live.
Norwood police charged Rebecca Kelly of Ogdensburg with misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief and reckless endangerment of property.
Police said Kelly was released on an appearance ticket "per the new bail reform laws."
On December 23, 2019, an apartment building at 14 South Main was destroyed by fire. Two neighboring buildings, which housed a laundromat and insurance company, were heavily damaged.
A woman and her dog escaped, but then fled the scene.
Police said that woman was Kelly, who had a friend give her a ride to Ogdensburg, where she has been living ever since.
According to police, they completed a lengthy investigation into the fire, which led to Kelly's arrest.
Police aren't saying how the fire started, but said Kelly wasn't charged with arson because they have no proof that the blaze was set intentionally.
Kelly is scheduled to appear in Potsdam Town Court on February 12.
A woman identifying herself as Rebecca Kelly called 7 News after this story appeared on our website. She said she believes a cigarette touched off the fire and that she burned herself trying to put out the flames. She also said she left the scene because she was traumatized due to the burns.
Norwood police were assisted in the investigation by members of the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, the Ogdensburg City Police, and members of the County Fire Investigation team.
Police confirm that Kelly has a criminal record.
In 2014, she was accused of breaking into a Potsdam apartment, attacking the person who lived there, and kicking a police officer as he tried to arrest her.
She was charged with burglary, criminal mischief and resisting arrest.
The woman who identified herself as Kelly told 7 News she pleaded guilty to criminal mischief in Ogdensburg City Court and asked to be assigned to drug court, which was granted. She said she violated the terms of drug court by using marijuana and wound up spending a year in the St. Lawrence County Jail.