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Woman scorned sets fire to fiance's house on Christmas Day

8:40 AM, Dec 27, 2013   |    comments
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A 48-year-old woman who police say was scorned by her fiancé's request for her to leave his house by New Year's, remains jailed on charges she deliberately set off a Christmas Day fire in front of her children that gutted the man's home.

No one - including the woman's 14-year-old son and family pets - was injured in the fire.

Jill Marie Batchelor, of Rockledge, was charged with first-degree arson and child abuse after Rockledge Police were called to a home at 1044 Bernice Rd., to investigate a disturbance.

Rockledge firefighters were also called out to douse the flames and smoke that spread through the home. "I'm told that nothing was salvageable and that the home was seriously damaged," said Donna Seyferth, spokeswoman for the Rockledge Police Department.

Police say Batchelor's boyfriend has told her several days before that she would have to leave the home and find somewhere else to live.

On Christmas morning, the man, 'left the house to stave off any problems," Seyferth said. "(Batchelor) refused to speak to investigators."

Police, however, said Batchelor, identified by the butterfly tattoo on her knee, was at the home about 9 a.m. and was seen by at least one witness lighting matches and throwing them on the floor of the home. Batchelor also stacked up a pile of debris, set them on fire and added debris to the rising flames before it grew out of control, police said. Police are also familiar with Batchelor, Seyferth said.

Batchelor was taken to the Brevard County Detention Center in Sharpes where she remains under a special watch, records show. She will go before a judge for a first appearance Friday.

Florida Today

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