Afternoon fire at Roxbury Treatment Center Thursday found to be arson, woman arrested

05 January 2024- A Huntingdon woman is facing numerous charges after allegedly trying to burn down or at least cause significant damage to the Roxbury Treatment Center in Franklin County. Jessica Elizabeth Neitz, 24, of Huntingdon, PA is charged with two counts of felony arson of an inhabited building, felony risking catastrophe, misdemeanor reckless endangerment, misdemeanor criminal mischief, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Neitz was remanded to the Franklin County Jail on $150,000 bail.

When PSP Troopers were initially dispatched to the Roxbury Treatment Center in Southampton Township around 5:30am on Thursday, fire and EMS crews were already on scene dealing with a fire that had taken up a large portion of a single occupant bathroom. The woman who was in the center of the bathroom at the time of the fire, Jessica Neitz, was in the back of an ambulance but reportedly refused to speak to Troopers, nor to even identify herself.

After the attempt at speaking with Neitz, Troopers interviewed the primary witness, a nurse at the facility, who brought them to the bathroom in question. Police say the nurse told them that while Neitz was filling out intake forms just after being dropped off she lit an extra roll of toilet paper on fire in the room and tried to barricade herself in the room. Smelling smoke, staff tried to force their way into the room where they eventually broke through and found a fire that the interviewed nurse said was “taller than me”. In the middle of the bathroom, the witness said that Neitz was found smiling. It was shortly after this Neitz was removed from the room and firefighters were called.

Troopers determined the fire started from one of Neitz’s Bic lighters she had on her person, concealed in her pockets. A survey of the room showed damage to the walls, floor, and ceiling as well as smoke marks all around the room. That bathroom in question, staff say, was directly in front of another room occupied at the time by an 11 year old and a 16 year old. This would directly place them in danger of the flames and debris.

Jessica Neitz is behind bars on $150,000 bail. Her preliminary hearing is set for January 16th.

Sources: Incident No.: PA 2024-17977, Docket Number: MJ-39304-CR-0000005-2024