Woman accused of setting fire that killed firefighter

Roni Coonen-Anderson

(WBAY) – Nearly one year after a fire destroyed a home and killed an 89-year-old man, a murder charge was filed against a woman accused of setting that fire.

Harold Ambrosius had been a Hobart volunteer firefighter for more than 25 years.

Monday, prosecutors charged 47-year-old Roni Coonen-Anderson, a friend of Ambrosius, with felony murder by arson to a building and a count of arson.

Anderson is also accused of starting a second fire, months after the first, in a quarry building in Hobart.

The 40-page criminal complaint details the two separate fires investigators believe Anderson set intentionally, but prosecutors haven’t detailed a clear motive for either fire.

They say Anderson would clean Ambrosius’s house from time to time and keep him company.

Court documents outline the night of the deadly fire. Fire crews remember seeing two sources of flames: One in the home and another in the garage, at opposite ends of the property.

When investigators questioned Anderson about the fire, investigators say she thought Ambrosius set it intentionally to kill them both and that he had been acting “weird” that night.

DNA evidence suggests the two had a sexual relationship, but prosecutors did not outline why Anderson may have set Ambrosius’s home on fire.

Prosecutors argue Anderson is a danger to the public. The court set her bond at $100,000 cash. She’ll be back in court on Friday.

Ambrosius’s family declined to speak on-camera after the court hearing Monday but said they’re happy something is happening with this case almost a year after their loved one’s death.


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