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Police: Woman Started Apartment Complex Fire Over Money Owed In Drug Deal

Photo Credit: Joshua Freeman

Photo Credit: Joshua Freeman

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Bob Allen joined the KDKA-TV team in January 2000 as a General...
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ELLWOOD CITY (KDKA) – One person is in custody following an intense apartment complex fire in Ellwood City Monday morning.

According to officials at the scene, seven fire departments were called to the 400-block of Loop Street around 10:30 a.m.

Four units at the Walnut Ridge Public Housing Complex were on fire, but there are no reported injuries.

The cause of the fire is believed to be arson and a woman was arrested in connection to the incident. Brandy Rombold, 36, is charged on multiple counts, including eight counts of arson and eight counts of risking a catastrophe.

“It was completely involved in flames,” said neighbor Johnny Cornelius. “There was flames going up over the roof and coming out of the top of the roof — went through the attic.”

Police say Rombold started the fire to get revenge for $20 she allegedly lost in a drug deal.

Neighbors at the scene were upset about the fire, mad that someone would set it on purpose, especially as revenge. The people living in the apartment next door to where it started lost everything in the fire.

“It’s stupid man,” said victim Billie Magil, “doing stuff like that, because they’re mad at somebody. You’re putting people’s lives in danger, everything people worked for is gone.”

Three units were heavily damaged in the blaze.

The Red Cross is helping six families who were affected by the fire.

Rombold is currently in the Lawrence County Jail.

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