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Valley News Dispatch

Woman faces arson charges in New Kensington apartment building fire

Chuck Biedka
| Friday, July 13, 2018, 1:21 p.m.

A 27-year-old Tarentum woman remains in the Westmoreland County Prison, charged by police with starting a fire in an occupied apartment building.

Ronisha Jean Allen, of Fifth Avenue, is accused by New Kensington police of tearing down a corkboard in a stairwell at Kings Residence in New Kensington, spraying the cork with lighter fluid, and setting it on fire just after noon on Monday.

No injuries were reported but the building was evacuated when the fire set off alarms there.

Police allege Allen was seen in a building surveillance video and was known to frequent the Family Services building in New Kensington.

In an affidavit, police say a woman matching the video description was seen walking out of the Family Services offices and was arrested the same day.

Allen is charged with arson of an occupied building and three related arson charges, all felonies.

She was arraigned before District Judge Helen M. Kistler on Monday. The judge ordered Allen sent to the county jail in lieu of $100,000 bond pending a Thursday preliminary hearing before District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. in New Kensington. The bond later was reduced to $25,000, according to Pallone’s staff.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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