Lebanon PA April 7 2012 A 54-year-old Lebanon County woman has been charged with two counts of arson in connection with a Monday morning fire at a Lebanon church.
Police said Sandra Jones, who has no known address, started the fire to the rear of Calvary Chapel, 740 Willow St., about 1:30 a.m. Monday.
Lebanon police Chief Daniel Wright said police first had contact with Jones at the scene of the fire, and she was initially treated as a witness.
“Based on some other things, we determined she was a suspect,” he said.
Police obtained a warrant for Jones late Tuesday afternoon. She was arrested in Harrisburg by officers from the Harrisburg Police Department on Tuesday evening and returned to Lebanon. She was arraigned by District Judge Thomas Capello and placed in Lebanon County prison, with bail set at $50,000.
The fire was determined to have been deliberately set based on an investigation conducted by the Lebanon City Bureau of Fire, the Lebanon police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Federal law requires that the ATF investigate all fires at church-owned buildings. Had it been determined that Jones specifically targeted the church or the school, more serious federal charges might have been filed, Wright said.