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Cops: Roosevelt fire sparked by family dispute

A fire rips through a Roosevelt home Tuesday.

A fire rips through a Roosevelt home Tuesday. (June 8, 2010) Credit: Bill Bennett

A Roosevelt woman set fire to her own house Tuesday, Nassau police say, amid an ongoing dispute with her sister and her sister's boyfriend over the boyfriend's presence in the house.

Cynthia Richardson, 43, was arrested and charged with second-degree arson after the 10:25 a.m. fire at the home, where she lived with her sister.

Richardson was being held at a police lockup and will be arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead Wednesday.

Det. Lt. Kevin Smith, a Nassau police spokesman, said Richardson had argued for days with the couple, and used gasoline to start the fire. Police said the argument was over how much time the boyfriend was spending at the home. Richardson set the fire while all three were in the house, police said.

All of the occupants of the home got out safely but the house was destroyed.

"We think there was a dispute and it got out of hand and the person came back and put the house on fire," Smith said.

Garland Moore, chief of the Roosevelt Fire Department, said about 10 people lived in apartments within the single-family two-story home.

Joseph Small, who also lived in the home, said he spoke with Richardson and tried to take the gasoline away from her.

"She said no one was going to live there after today," he said, adding, "I don't think she's a bad person. She just has issues."

With Bill Mason

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