PITTSTON — A woman in Luzerne County is accused of setting her personal care home on fire. Police say she put dozens of people in danger trying to burn the place.
Pittston police say the accused arsonist underwent a mental evaluation, but was cleared and then immediately arrested for arson and risking a catastrophe.
She admitted the crime to us and went on to explain why she did it and how she knows she faces consequences.
Charlotte Raeggs, 59, left her arraignment after admitting to police, admitting to a judge, then admitting to us she tried to burn down her care home in Pittston.
“Did you set this fire?”
“Yes, I did!” Raeggs said.
Raeggs had a detailed explanation about the fire police say she set inside her room at Pittston Manor on March 1.
Here’s why she says she lit the curtains on fire.
“The Pittston Manor residents were mean to me. No one would take a walk with me. I said ‘please, please take a walk with me’ because I wasn’t allowed to walk alone.”
“So because they wouldn’t take you for a walk you decided to light it on fire?”
“I thought it was temporary insanity for a minute. I didn’t think, sir. And I just said, ‘that’s it, I’m getting even with everybody.’ so I set the curtains on fire,” Raeggs explained.
In arrest papers, it says the fire was put out quickly, but police say there were 58 people inside the building at the time. That’s why Raeggs is charged with risking a catastrophe.
“What if you had killed people in that building?”
“I know. I’m sorry,” Raeggs said.
Police say Raeggs went through a mental evaluation, was cleared and released.
“People do things in the heat of battle, so to speak. She didn’t like the way she was treated and followed through with trying to take people’s lives,” said Pittston Police Sgt. William Knowles.
While there were reasons for a mental evaluation, police say it is clear she knew she was wrong.
“She’s not denying what she did and she’s accepting the fact that she needs to take care of what she did and accepting the fact that there are consequences to go with that,” said Sgt. Knowles.
Charlotte Raeggs was taken to the Luzerne County jail.
No one was hurt in that fire at Pittston Manor, but she faces serious charges because they could have been.