CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind. — A Wayne County woman told deputies she set fire to a Cambridge City home because “God told her to do so.” She claimed her husband was “the beast” and that “mass destruction of abuse and damage” had occurred under the roof, court documents reveal.
Holly Wyatt, 52, has been preliminarily charged with arson that results in bodily injury to another person, a level 3 felony. She is currently being held on a $20,000 bond.
According to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, dispatch was notified of heavy smoke coming from the area of Frank Myers Road and State Road 1 in Cambridge City at 4:12 p.m. Sunday. Responders quickly descended upon the area and found a house in the 14800 block of Frank Myers Road completely engulfed in flames. Police said the fire had even started to spread to a nearby wooded area.
One mile away, sitting inside a black Ford pickup truck in a driveway off of State Road 1, police found Wyatt. Police said Wyatt and her husband had been living inside the Frank Myers Road home, renting the property from Wyatt’s aunt.
According to court documents, a deputy walked up to Wyatt and asked how she was doing. “Wonderful,” Holly reportedly responded. Wyatt then admitted to burning the house down, stating burning the home to the ground was the reason she was feeling so good. The lighter she reportedly used to start the fire was still inside her truck at the time of her arrest, police said.
During her interview with police, Wyatt mentioned several times that it was God who had told her to burn the house down. She claimed the home had housed many evil deeds, including abuse, and said that God had told her that her husband was “the beast.”
Wyatt said no one was home when she started the fire, according to court documents. She told deputies that after taking a shower she knew “she was not going to be safe until everything was gone,” meaning burning the house to ash.
Court documents state that Wyatt started the fire by using a grill lighter and spray paint. She caught boxes full of items on fire on the back porch before setting fire to the bed in the master bedroom, curtains in the living room and even lighting baskets of laundry on fire.
Wyatt told police after the house became fully engulfed that she walked outside, sat back in her pickup and watched the house burn with her dog at her side.
After the fire began to spread to a nearby outbuilding, Wyatt said she drove down the street and pulled into the driveway of a house on State Road 1.
During Wyatt’s interview with police, she told officers that God told her that her husband had “clocked out,” meaning that she believed her husband was dead. She told police she “had no reason to believe she was ever going to hear (his) voice or see him again.”
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department confirmed afterward that Wyatt’s husband was alive and safe, staying with family members.
A firefighter was injured during the process of extinguishing the fire, authorities said. He suffered from smoke inhalation, dehydration and heat exhaustion and was transferred to a hospital where he was later released.