New Jersey woman dies after burning down house full of cats rather than face eviction

"She had many, many cats," Malkin stated, adding that her collection of felines had gotten to a point where a "cat house" was built on the property.

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Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
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A Roosevelt, New Jersey woman and her dozens of feline friends are dead after she allegedly burned down the house they had been living in to avoid being evicted by the landlord, who was trying to force her out in order to sell the property.

The blaze quickly spread to the attached unit, and while the occupants were able to escape, their possessions were engulfed in flames. 



According to CBS News, the fire broke out around 11 am on Wednesday and burnt the structure to its core.

New Jersey State Police Lt. Lawrence Peele said that reports showed the woman, whose identity has not been revealed, had "turned on the gas of the residence prior to igniting."

Her actions did not come unannounced, however. Neighbors were warned that she was threatening to blow up the house in response to being evicted, and quickly evacuated the scene.
 

"They knocked on our door this morning," neighbor Erin Luca said. "Thank God it was a pretty loud knock. They told us to leave. She was threatening with a bomb or to bomb the house and ended up with a fire."

"This is a quiet little town," she added. "That's why we moved here. This is something that's rocking the town right now."

Emma Quackenbush, who lived in the adjoining unit, told NBC News that her home of twenty-two years was rendered "unlivable," and lamented the loss of all her possessions.

In an interview with the Asbury Park Press, Roosevelt Mayor Peggy Malkin said that the woman had been living in the home for at least ten years.

"She had many, many cats," Malkin stated, adding that her collection of felines had gotten to a point where a "cat house" was built on the property.

According to Malkin, the woman had worked as a pet sitter, taking care of animals in and around the neighborhood.

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