Woman arrested for arson after fire at neighbor’s home


After a Front Royal man lost his home to a fire, police and fire officials discovered it was an act of arson. 

“I never dreamed that she would have done this to me, I mean because I took her to the grocery store and I brought her over and shared food and everything with her. I can’t imagine anyone doing that after you tried to help them,” said Clayton Estes who lived in the home that burned. 

On Tuesday night, Clayton Estes received a call from his neighbor who told him his house was on fire. On Friday, that same neighbor, 73-year-old Fontella Fewell, was arrested and charged with arson. 

“I hadn’t been gone from my home here about 20 minutes and they say the fire started from my carport,” said Estes. 

Estes was renting the home and lived there alone. However, this was not his first experience with devastation. 

“About 21 years ago, I had my home place burned down…and the guy, they called him the town drunk, and he set my house on fire,” said Estes. 

The fire created almost $100,000 worth of damage. The fire marshal says it took about 30 minutes to get the fire under control and one firefighter was transported to the hospital for heat exhaustion. 

“It’s really heartbreaking and it’s sad to think when you get the age that I am and lose everything that you have and you just don’t know where to start, it’s just rough,” said Estes. 

As he is working to pick up the pieces, Estes is looking for a new, affordable place to live. 

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