Teen charged with trying to set fire to neighbor’s house
Authorities say a dispute between neighbors turned dangerous when a teen tried to set her neighbor’s house on fire and then called 911 shortly after, a report said.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Brittany Deanna Kennedy, 19, of East Ridge Road, with attempted second-degree arson, second-degree trespass and communicating threats through electronic mail. She remains in the Rowan County jail under a $2,500 secured bond.
The victim, Dana Lesley, told investigators she’d been having problems with her neighbor’s daughter, whom law enforcement later determined to be Brittany Kennedy.
Lesley had text messages reportedly sent from Kennedy that were vulgar and threatening to hurt Lesley and other members of her family, a report said. Capt. John Sifford said deputies had been to East Ridge Road and ordered Kennedy to remain away from Lesley’s property. On Wednesday, Lesley said she saw Kennedy stomping out a fire in her own yard.
Lesley said she later received two calls from Kennedy, one of which was to say that Lesley’s house was on fire, but Kennedy had called the fire department. Lesley said she returned home and discovered the Ellis Cross Country Fire Department had put out a fire on the back of her property. A set of plants on the back side of the home caught on fire, officials said.
Firefighters told investigators they could “smell a strong odor of gasoline in the area of the fire,” which was close to the house, but did not ignite it.
Sifford said Kennedy initially denied involvement, but said she’d been burning leaves. She later admitted to an investigator she took a gas can sitting outside her own home and poured gasoline on the plants behind Lesley’s home and lit them with a match.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.