Palmetto woman charged with arson

PALMETTO — Ashley Ann Williams, 23, of Palmetto, was arrested at 10 p.m. Friday and charged with arson to an occupied building.

Detectives with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office say that Williams showed up at 527 37th St. Court W., Palmetto Friday while it was occupied with other two other people and saw another woman’s clothing on her boyfriend’s bed in the upstairs bedroom.

She gathered up the woman’s clothes and placed them in a pile on the downstairs residence floor, according to an arrest report.

She then soaked the articles of clothing with bug spray and used her cigarette lighter to ignite the clothing, the report states.Once the blaze was going, Williams fled from the scene, detectives say.

The two victims watching TV upstairs in another room, neither of whom was Williams’ boyfriend, smelled smoke and went downstairs to investigate.

One of the victims threw a blanket over the burning items, managing to smother the fire, the report states.

One victim, a female, was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital, complaining of breathing difficulties. An area fire marshall declared the fire a case of arson, according to the report.

Williams was found a few hours later at her mother’s home in Bradenton and arrested. No other injuries were reported.Information on Williams’ incarceration status was not immediately available on the sheriff’s office website.