BATH — An investigation into a July fire resulted in the arrest Thursday of a Cameron woman.
New York State Police in Bath completed an investigation into a fire that occurred at approximately 9 p.m. on July 6, 2014 at 5391 county Route 8 in Wheeler.
The Avoca Volunteer Fire Department responded to the address for a reported structure fire. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a fire in the master bedroom of the residence and the fire was quickly brought under control.
An interview of the occupants of the residence failed to identify a cause of the fire and the Steuben County Fire Investigation Team responded to assist with the investigation. Fire investigators determined the fire originated in the master bedroom near the bed, but were unable to determine a cause.
All information was turned over to New York State Police for further investigation and the investigation was closed on Thursday with the arrest of Laura L. Hammer, 50, of Cameron. Hammer was charged with making a punishable false statement and issued an appearance ticket returnable to Bath Town Court.
Hammer was interviewed by New York State Police investigators immediately following the fire and provided a sworn statement in which she said at the time of the fire she was living at the residence with her boyfriend. Hammer stated she was asleep at the time of the fire and had no knowledge of how it started.
The investigation determined at the time of the fire Hammer was intoxicated and fell asleep while smoking in bed. The cause of the fire was determined to be the cigarette Hammer was smoking in bed prior to falling asleep. The cigarette dropped out of Hammer's mouth when she fell asleep and ignited bed covering, authorities allege.
Hammer was arrested after she admitted that she knowingly lied in a sworn statement regarding her knowledge of how the fire started.
Troopers were assisted in the investigation by the Avoca Volunteer Fire Department, Steuben County fire investigators, and the Steuben County District Attorney's Office.