LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Lufkin Police Department have arrested a 37-year-old woman in connection to allegations that she caused a house fire on Abney by setting a basket full of clothes ablaze because he was jealous of the occupant's current girlfriend.
Rosalyn Yvette McKelvey, of Lufkin, is still being held in the Angelina County jail on a second-degree felony arson charge. No bail amount has been set at this time.
According to the arrest affidavit, the Lufkin Police Department dispatch center received a 911 call about a structure fire at 310 Abney Street at about 12:29 a.m. on April 22. The caller said that there was a single-story wood frame house on fire near the railroad tracks and two men were trying to put it out.
When Lufkin firefighters arrived on the scene a few minutes later, they found a fire on the front porch of the home. The affidavit stated that the fire ultimately spread to the house's attic and front bedroom before the firefighters put out the blaze.
During later interviews, it was determined that the firefighters found a burning couch about one foot from the home's porch.
On the date of the fire, City Fire Marshal Steve McCool investigated the fire in an effort to determine the cause, the affidavit stated. At the time of the blaze, the home was occupied by three people.
The fire investigation revealed that the fire moved from the front porch and spread into the bedroom. The burned couch had been moved off the porch. However, the couch continued to burn, and the fire spread to a nearby tire and then into the attic.
Remnants of clothes and a small piece of children's luggage was found near the left side of the couch. Later in the affidavit, McCool said that he believed that the fire started in the pile of clothes.
The investigation revealed that there no reasonable sources of ignition like electrical plugs, appliances, candles, etc. on the front porch, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, McKelvey has had a relationship with one of the occupants of the house at 310 Abney Street for about 20 years and has been known to have a personal relationship with him. McKelvey allegedly admitted to getting into verbal altercations with the man's current girlfriend.
"She has also been described as being jealous of [the girlfriend]," the affidavit stated.
Because the man's girlfriend had been visiting more frequently, she had been keeping her some of her clothes on the home's front porch.
Just before the fire broke out, McKelvey was at the house at 310 Abney Street complaining about the man's girlfriend, the affidavit stated. About 15 minutes later, the man got out of bed when he smelled smoke, went outside, and saw flames coming from a pile of clothes belonging to his girlfriend and that the fire quickly spread to the couch and porch.
A neighbor said an acquaintance pulled into her driveway that night and told her the house at 310 Abney Street was on fire. According to the affidavit, the man told her it was the "girl with the pretty hair." When the neighbor asked him, "Rosalyn?" he replied, "Yeah, that's her."
The man told the neighbor that he saw McKelvey set the clothes on fire and ride away from the house at 310 Abney Street on a bicycle.