SAGINAW - A business owner who claimed she was doused by gasoline and then her store set on fire has now been charged with arson, read a statement released by Saginaw police this afternoon.
Deborah Kay Scott co-owned the 6,000-square-foot Sisters Antique Mall and Tea Room in Saginaw along with her sister, Joyce Erwin. The business was declared a total loss after it was set ablaze on February 22.
Scott told police a man had come inside the store and became confrontational, doused her with gasoline, roughed her up and then torched the Sisters Antique Mall. She suffered minor burns and bruises and friends said she was "traumatized" after the incident.
However, Thursday morning they executed a search warrant on Deborah Scott's Saginaw home, and arrested her for arson.
"That just totally blows me away," said Cathy Moss, who rented a booth at the mall. "Deborah was such a nice person. That just blows my mind. I cannot believe it."
Cathy Moss feels betrayed. She used her booth at the Sisters Antique store to find new homes for old family possessions she can no longer keep.
"I'm not a dealer," Moss said. "I don't do that. This is stuff I've had in my house for 30 years. My mother had it before I had it. Some of it was my grandmother's."
Authorities said the case was perplexing from the start, with little to no information on the alleged arsonist, who Scott said she did not know.
According to the arrest affidavit, police got a tip that the owner had asked another woman to help her burn down the store.
That person confirmed to investigators that Deborah Scott did ask her to help set the fire. According to the documents, Scott stood to gain from insurance on the building.
Deborah Scott is now free on $15,000 bond, while police sort through possible evidence seized from her home.