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La Crosse woman accused of arson, facing multiple charges

Court records show the charges filed against 23-year-old Briana Lawrence of La Crosse include...
Court records show the charges filed against 23-year-old Briana Lawrence of La Crosse include arson of property other than building, arson of building w/o owner’s consent, 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, criminal damage to property (over $2500).(MGN)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 8:10 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -A La Crosse woman is accused of arson and is facing multiple charges.

Court records show the charges filed against 23-year-old Brianna Lawrence of La Crosse include arson of property other than building, arson of building w/o owner’s consent, 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, criminal damage to property (over $2500).

According to a criminal complaint, authorities received a 911 call for a fire at a home. The fire department responded and addressed the fire. One of the residents was taken to be interviewed. The resident was identified as Lawrence.

According to the criminal complaint on the day of the fire, a supervisor with Child Protective Services offered a ride to Lawrence to see her child as Lawrence had a scheduled visit. Lawrence told the CPS supervisor she was going to walk. The CPS supervisor later received a call from Lawrence saying that she needed a ride and said there was a fire at her home.

The criminal complaint says in an interview Lawrence indicated she is a smoker. Lawrence said they had electrical issues at the home, noting that the breaker trips if they have too many space heaters plugged in. Lawrence said they had issues with the furnace. When asked what happened the night before the fire, Lawrence said that she had slept most of the night.

According to the criminal complaint, Lawrence’s boyfriend said that he and Lawrence had slept through the night and woke up in the morning. He said that Lawrence was “stressed because they were being evicted and looking for a new place to live.” He said that morning, Lawrence had been in the basement and left using the egress window. She then entered the house and said she was going for a walk. He said she returned shortly after. At that time, she said there was a fire and everyone needed to get out. He said that he tried to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher, but wasn’t successful.

Another resident in an interview said that the week before this fire Lawrence had “set curtains in the living room on fire and a mattress in one of the bedrooms.”

A fire chief concluded that the fire was “classified as incendiary and was intentionally set by igniting the mattress.”

The property owner estimated the amount of damage to be $70,000 to $80,000.

The next court appearance is scheduled for July 8, 2022.

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