Arson charges in Elm St. fire

Staff writer

An early morning fire that erupted July 25 in the garage of a modular home at 707 N. Elm St. has resulted in charges being filed against a juvenile and an adult.

Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke said that on completion of the investigation by his department, a case of arson was filed in Marion County District Court and a juvenile was arrested on a warrant for the charge of arson. The same juvenile was also arrested on a Peabody Municipal Court warrant and charged with failure to appear. The names of juveniles accused of crimes are not made public.

Also arrested in the case was Michelle L. Gonzalez, 45, of Peabody. She was charged with aiding and abetting in the felony charge of arson. Gonzalez was also arrested on a second charge of contributing to a child’s misconduct — encouraging a juvenile to commit a felony.

The fire, which was reported about 2 a.m. July 25, was battled by Peabody Fire Department as well as by fire fighters from Florence and Walton. The garage was totally destroyed and the home sustained heavy damage. It was owned by Ruth Lott of Peabody, but Lott did not live in the home. A wooden privacy fence surrounding Stuart Woodruff’s residence to the north was heavily damaged and windows on that side of the house cracked from the heat.

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