NOTE: I wrote the following email to the landlady on May 26, 2011. I haven't spoken with the state's arson investigator since he got the lab results back, but in a previous telephone call, he suggested that the fire may have originated from a cigarette butt, placed in a trash barrel, near the wall where you see the most smoke damage. So, I sent the following email, which received no reply.
The state's arson investigator called me today, on his vacation, to let me know he's sure I'm not an arson suspect.
He's waiting for results of evidence testing, but believes the fire may have been caused by a lit cigarette in the barrel of trash I was collecting outside the bathroom window when I first moved in.
I know I wouldn't have thrown a cigarette butt there, as I'm to conscientious about fire and smoking and have a fire proof method of disposing of butts, on the opposite side of the porch.
The person who caused the fire gave me a ride to and from Edgewood to go shopping on Sunday.
I don't know his name. But, a member of the last group of volunteer firefighters, left with me until the investigator arrived, does know him. He is a heavy-set fire fighter who works with a clean up and construction business. He told me the man's name. He saw me hitch hiking on old 66 and saw the man pick me up.
Apparently, the cigarette and trash must have smoldered all night. I smelled something funny in the area of the weights by the front door, I thought, on Monday, as I was doing laundry.
Your mother was in the house later that day. After she left, I used the bathroom and the smell was stronger. It didn't smell like smoke; it smelled like chemicals. I thought, since Sue didn't mention it, it was either my imagination or some sort of cleaning products she was using.
I would have immediately contacted dispatch then, if I'd had any logical reason to suspect a fire, but I did not.
I lost a four hundred dollar washing machine, a $450 electric bicycle and about $300 worth of groceries.
I had some minor smoke damage, which I refused to have treated, because I wanted to stay with my property and animals to protect them.
I was the first responder, hosing the fire and screaming for help, which is how I inhaled smoke and steam.
I tried to save your cat.
If the trash, combustible liquids, weeds and sofa were not there, this would not have happened.
I did not destroy your house; I was trying to save it.
Nobody has asked about my health, welfare or needs. I now have no toilet, am coughing constantly and have no food. And the Sheriff's office has reported your property as dangerously substandard and unsafe, so I now have to move, on top of everything.
Take responsibility for your own lives and stop blaming me for your dysfunction.
I am actively seeking suitable housing and will vacate as soon as I am able.
it wasn't until the middle of the next month that I discovered this post on facebook and wrote:
They nearly killed all my animals...no food or water for over 3 days. They fenced in everything I owned. Daddy threatened me with a gun. They screamed at me. They shut off the water and electricity. They threatened and harassed me. They SLASHED MY GARDEN HOSES, so I couldn't water my animals.
It was their funky-arsed FREEZER that caused the fire, NOT ME! SHE is saying God did it. HE writes the freezer did it. IT IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY and they are BLAMING ME AND GOD?????
AND THEY'VE KNOW IT SINCE MAY 24!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!