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Front Royal woman charged with felony arson in Saturday fire

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Rebecca Melvin

A Front Royal woman has been arrested and charged with two felonies in connection with a Saturday outbuilding fire occurring at the E. Prospect Street home in which she resided. Rebecca Starr Melvin, 38, of the 400 block of Prospect Street, was taken into custody Monday afternoon and charged with a felony count of burning or destroying a dwelling house and an additional felony count of burning or destroying any other building or structure.

According to a press release issued by Front Royal Police Captain Crystal Cline, first responders were called to the scene of a fire at 407 E. Prospect Street on Saturday evening, around 6:45 p.m. for a reported house fire. The release states that ” Rescue and Law Enforcement patrol units arrived within minutes to find a shed on fire, which was spreading to a neighbor’s adjoining outbuilding. The fire completely consumed one outbuilding and caused significant damages to the other. Responders determined that the single-family dwelling at this location was also on fire. It took firefighters approximately 15 minutes to bring the additional structure fire under control.”

Cline stated in the written release that a female occupant was transported to Warren Memorial Hospital by law enforcement officers.

While the incidents continue to be investigated by the Warren County Fire Marshals Office and the Front Royal Police Criminal Investigations Division, with assistance from the Frederick and Fauquier County Fire Marshals Offices, the cause of the fires was determined to be multiple acts of arson.

After consultation with the Warren County Commonwealths Attorney’s Office, Melvin was charged Monday afternoon in connection with the arson incidents.

Melvin has been charged with two felony counts. She is currently being held without bond at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico at 540-636-3830 or gmaiatico@warrencountyfire.com or contact Detective Z.M. King at 636-2208 or zking@frontroyalva.com.

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