A woman is accused of burning down a wood shed with a woman and dog inside. She was arrested Saturday by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
Robin Hamilton, 57, of 14134 SE 174th Place in Hawthorne, was charged with attempted murder, arson and animal abuse.
The Cross Creek Fire Department responded to a fire at 14125 SE 174th Place in Hawthorne around 3:30 p.m. According to an ACSO report, the building on fire was a shed that the victim rented from Hamilton.
Before the fire began, the victim said she and Hamilton argued over a missing towel. The report says the towel had sentimental value to the victim.
The victim told ACSO that Hamilton returned the towel and began to threaten her, saying “You won’t have a place to stay by Monday” and “I’ll burn you out.”
About 20 minutes after the argument, the victim said she began to smell smoke from inside the shed. When she turned off the air conditioning unit and saw ash land on her skin, she realized the shed was on fire.
The victim said she saw fire near her dryer vent. Her hair began to burn, and she told ACSO she felt parts of her face burn as well. She struggled to breathe because she suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
She tried to grab the 6-month-old puppy hiding under her furniture, but she wasn’t able to reach the dog before she opened the door and escaped. The fire rapidly engulfed the shed.
From outside, the victim said she heard her puppy “screaming” as the fire intensified. The puppy died.
Afterward, a witness said they overheard Hamilton saying, “That’s what you get,” and threatening another neighbor by saying, “I’ll burn you out too,” the report read.
A video camera facing the shed from a home across the street recorded the events leading up to the fire. According to the report, Hamilton can be seen crouching down by the shed. After she leaves, the fire starts.
Hamilton told ACSO she didn’t know how the fire started, and that she had been burning bamboo near the shed. However, Hamilton eventually admitted she started the fire after drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis that morning.
Hamilton is currently being held at Alachua County Jail with her bond set at $80,000.
The victim said she paid $225 a month to live in the shed. It was a temporary arrangement until she “could get back on her feet.”