Neighbors say they're stunned that a Mount Vernon woman is arrested, accused of setting fire to an apartment where a man was found dead.
Amber Pilotti, 31, was arrested Sunday and charged with aggravated arson in connection with the fire at an apartment on Shirley Street on Feb. 14.
The body of 52-year-old Brad Grosscup was found in the living room of the apartment. The coroner said Grosscup's death was unrelated to the fire.
The coroner said he had been dead one or two days prior to the fire.
Neighbors said Pilotti knew Grosscup and was on friendly terms with him.
Neighbor Kathleen Rutka introduced Grosscup around the neighborhood several years ago, and also watched Pilotti's three kids.
"I saw this glow … and I heard somebody screaming outside so I opened the door and they were calling 911," Rutka said.
A neighbor told NBC4 that police connected a white car parked in the yard to the fire.
"Earlier in the day, I saw the white car the cops described pull into the yard, and go into the house," said Anthony Lee Beach, a neighbor.
Beach and his mother moved into a neighboring apartment five days before the fire, and he was walking home from work on the night of the fire.
"I seen the flames were on my house and I became terrified. Not only was I going to lose physical things, I was going to lose my family as well," Beach said.
The State Fire marshal's office is assisting in the investigation, and authorities are tight-lipped about the details.
Rutka said that although she doesn't know why Pilotti allegedly set the fire, she still loves her and misses Grosscup.
Court records show that Pilotti lived next door to Grosscup, but Rutka said she didn't.
3165 Olentangy River Road
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