70-Year-Old Woman Accused of Setting Mattress on Fire

By Ari Mason
|  Thursday, Sep 19, 2013  |  Updated 2:23 PM EDT
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70-Year-Old Woman Accused of Setting Mattress on Fire

New Haven Police Department

Seventy-year-old Veronica Tilley is accused of setting a mattress on fire in her New Haven apartment.

A 70-year-old New Haven woman is accused of setting her apartment on fire after authorities arrived to find her dragging a burning mattress through the kitchen, according to police.

Veronica Tilley of 491 Lighthouse Road was arrested following an arson investigation into a fire at her third-floor apartment.

Police said the fire was concentrated in the middle bedroom and the kitchen, where a mattress was burning. One fire lieutenant said he spotted Tilley dragging the burning mattress.

Tilley told investigators the fire started in the kitchen while she was cooking hamburgers and that the grease from the pan splattered onto her mattress, lighting it on fire. When police asked Tilley why her mattress was in the kitchen, she told them it was because her bedroom smelled like smoke, according to police.

Police said she later changed her story to say the mattress may have been struck by lightning.

Tilley is charged with reckless burning.

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