Louisa woman charged with arson in church fires

Press release from Louisa County Sheriff's Office

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - On January 19, Louisa County Sheriff's Office responded to a call for a suspicious fire at a local church. A church member checking the property discovered minor damage from three fires at the property. A rear basement door had been burned from its frame and there was damage from two small fires inside the basement fellowship hall.  Thankfully, the cinder block walls and tile floor construction of the fellowship hall prevented any of the fires from spreading or causing significant structural damage.

A suspicious fire had been reported in the community the previous weekend.  Two additional small, recent and suspicious neighborhood fires were brought to the attention of authorities while investigating this case.  A suspect in those smaller fires was named and evidence linked that same suspect to the St. John Baptist Church fire.  Investigative tools included a bloodhound trail and an accelerant canine at the church.

The suspect, Felicia Armstrong, was charged with one count of felony arson for starting three fires at the church, as well as breaking and entering to start two of the fires inside the building.  She was charged with one count of felony arson for burning a neighbor's shed on January 15 and two counts of misdemeanor arson for burning a neighbor's fence January 9 and another neighbor's pile of firewood, which also damaged a nearby shelter, earlier this month.