A Burlington resident found herself in handcuffs on Tuesday after allegedly igniting objects on a stranger's porch, leading to a flurry of charges against her.

Burlington Police Department
Burlington Police Department
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BURLINGTON, Iowa

Michelle Young, aged 46, has been accused of reckless use of fire/explosives/destructive devices, a serious misdemeanor, alongside possession of drug paraphernalia, classified as a simple misdemeanor.

Following her arrest, a judge swiftly set Young's bond at $5,000 cash-only during proceedings held on Wednesday. Her next appearance is scheduled for March 29, pending a preliminary hearing.

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Read More: Michigan Man Arrested For Setting House On Fire Twice

What Happened Exactly?

Details outlined in an arrest affidavit, filed in Des Moines County Court, shed light on the incident:

Authorities were summoned to the 2200 block of Vineyard Street around 4:38 p.m. on Tuesday following reports of a porch fire. The homeowner, reviewing footage from home security cameras, identified an unfamiliar woman on the porch who allegedly ignited an object, generating smoke visible in the recordings.

Upon arrival, officers located the suspect, identified as Michelle Young, who reportedly confessed to initiating the fire when questioned by law enforcement.

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Michelle Young Makes A Statement

Young told officers she believed the home belonged to a friend. She said she also saw a sign that said “Witches Welcome” and, because she was a witch, she lit some items on fire.

However, Young maintained that her intentions did not involve causing harm or allowing the fire to escalate beyond control.

Contrary to Young's assertions, the homeowner affirmed no familiarity with the accused individual, casting doubt on her claims of mistaken identity.

Subsequent interrogation at the police department yielded further insights into Young's activities:

Young recounted spending approximately two hours in the vicinity of Vineyard Street, during which she engaged in aimless wandering and scavenging various items. Among her findings were a car's taillight, tin foil, bark, and a yellow lawn flag.

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Persisting in her belief that the targeted property was that of a friend, Young purportedly disclosed attempting to make contact by knocking but receiving no response. Undeterred, she proceeded to ignite the items she had amassed, including articles of clothing.

The arrest affidavit concluded with Young's account of events, suggesting a belief in a personal connection to the residence and a series of actions allegedly motivated by this conviction.

As the legal process unfolds, Michelle Young remains entangled in a web of charges stemming from Tuesday's fiery episode, her fate to be determined in forthcoming court proceedings.

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