Woman arrested after string of fires in Chesterfield
CHESTERFIELD, Ind. (April 14, 2016) – A woman faces charges after being accused of setting several fires in Madison County.
Chesterfield police arrested Lisa Brumley, 40, on two counts of arson, two counts of criminal mischief and one count of residential entry.
The arrest solves a longtime mystery in the community. A series of house fires over the years has rattled residents. Investigators believe Brumley may be responsible for six additional fires dating back to 2010.
Police considered her a person of interest in connection with the fires. However, they never had enough evidence against her to pursue the case. The fires were similar in nature: someone used a lighter to ignite vinyl siding or window seals on the homes.
The homes were in the vicinity of Brumley’s home on North Street, according to court documents.
The most recent fire happened on March 29, 2016, at 619 North St. The house was fully engulfed with flames shooting out of the roof. The garage was almost burned to the ground before firefighters got the fire under control.
Investigators believed it was a case of arson since no one had lived in the home since August 2015 and there were no functioning utilities.
The break in the case came when investigators reviewed surveillance video that showed Brumley walking home from Rickers in Chesterfield around the time of the fire. She’d gone to the store to buy cigarettes and beer, court documents said.
When police interviewed Brumley, she initially denied having any involvement and said she’d gone to bed at midnight. When confronted with video showing her out at 2:35 a.m. on the day of the fire, she said she’d forgotten she went to the store.
Upon further questioning, she said she’d crawled under the garage door and set a stroller on fire with her lighter. Investigators later found the burned stroller under rubble at the home.
She then broke down and admitted that she tried to set another home on fire that morning at 623 Vasbinder Dr. She told investigators she held the lighter against the siding; the fire went out before it spread to the whole house.
Brumley denied setting other fires in the neighborhood. However, she told police her life went downhill in 2010 and she started drinking heavily. She said if she set those fires, she doesn’t remember because she was “probably blacked out drunk” at the time.
Brumley has been arrested several times for public intoxication and ended up in prison. During the time of her incarceration, police noted, there were no fires in her neighborhood.
Brumley was arrested in an arson case in 2001; she accepted a plea deal in August 2001, according to online court records.