Sparta woman charged with arson
On Dec. 28, Sparta Police Department and Erv’s Sparta Area Fire Protection District responded to 307 Meadowview Lane in Sparta for a residential fire. Officers arrived and made contact with the homeowners, Mark and Roxanne Metcalf, who advised officers that their daughter, Brittany N. Ambrosini had set the house on fire.
Metcalf informed officers that he knew his daughter, Ambrosini, 31, of Sparta, started the fire as she had allegedly been making threats to burn the house down for several months because she believed the house was “cursed and haunted.”
He also believed Ambrosini had started the fires because their family dog had been tied up in the back yard away from the house.
According to the complaint, at 9:12 p.m., Monroe County Communications Center advised officers of a fire at the residence in the basement with the household full of smoke. The Metcalfs had come home after eating out when they could smell smoke and discovered the house was on fire.
Upon arrival, officers could reportedly see smoke exiting from the residence but no visible flames. As responders entered the residence, they observed what appeared to be cheese balls thrown around on the living room floor.
They also noticed a small pile of ashes on the living room, which appeared to be a pile of paper that had been started on fire on the carpet. According to the complaint, the carpet by the basement door, which was open, was all black and smoke was coming out of the basement.
Officers also found a blue propane blowtorch sitting on the kitchen table, which Metcalf later advised was typically kept under the kitchen sink or down in the basement.
Metcalf allegedly told officers that he and his wife had dropped off their granddaughter with Ambrosini earlier in the evening but he didn't know where she had gone afterwards since she had not been staying at his residence like she was supposed to according to her bond conditions.
He also stated Ambrosini was allegedly using methamphetamine and that she needed to get help. He said he had threatened several times within the last month to call law enforcement because she had been in violation of her bond and that the day before, Ambrosini and he had argued because she came to the house allegedly high on drugs.
Firefighters reportedly found writing on a back door window, which read “she is dead” in blue lettering. When asked, Metcalf told officers the writing had not been there earlier.
After talking to the Fire Chief Mike Arnold, it was determined that the fire was indeed suspicious and Arnold contacted Division of Criminal Investigation requesting assistance from the State Fire Marshall.
A notebook, allegedly belonging to Ambrosini, was reportedly located at the scene. The notebook contained several addresses, which Ambrosini had allegedly informed her parents she wanted to burn down.
One of the addresses written in the notebook was 307 Meadowview Ln. The other addresses were checked by the appropriate agencies after being notified by the Sparta PD.
One of the additional addresses listed was 5858 Highway E in Warrens. Deputies of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office were sent to the address.
Upon arrival, the officers reportedly saw a flame visible inside and as they approached they noticed it was a candle with a sign that said, “Bless our home.” They also noticed that the building appeared to be empty and uninhabited.
After deputies left the address, they spotted Ambrosini’s vehicle as it passed them on Hwy E, which resulted in a traffic stop and Ambrosini being taken into custody.
On Wednesday, Ambrosini was charged in Monroe County Circuit Court with arson of a building without the owner’s consent, 2nd degree recklessly endangering safety, negligent handling of burning material and two counts of felony bail jumping.
The court ordered a $1,000 cash bond and Ambrosini will appear again on Jan. 8 at 1 p.m.