Springville Woman Indicted on Felony Arson Charge for Setting Fire to Her Apartment Building

Modified: February 22, 2023 3:31pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 36-year-old Sara J. Lilley of Springville was arraigned this morning before State Supreme Court Justice Betty Calvo Torres on an indictment charging her with one count of Arson in the Second Degree (Class “B” felony).  

It is alleged that on Monday, January 23, 2023, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Erie County Sheriff’s Office deputies and multiple volunteer fire companies responded to a fire at an apartment building on North Buffalo Street in the Village of Springville. The fire damaged multiple apartment units. No injuries were reported, but several residents were displaced. The defendant, who resided in the apartment building, is accused of intentionally setting the fire. 

Lilley is scheduled to return on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case. She continues to be held without bail.

If convicted of the charge, Lilley faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.    

DA Flynn commends the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Fire Investigation Unit, Springville Volunteer Fire Company and the numerous volunteer fire companies for their work in this investigation.

Lilley also has a separate pending criminal case in Springville Village Court. The defendant was arraigned before Justice O’Neal Adams on October 21, 2022. She is charged with one count of Burglary in the Third Degree (Class “D” felony) and one count of Petit Larceny (Class “A” misdemeanor).

It is alleged that on Thursday, October 20, 2022, at approximately 5:57 p.m., the defendant knowingly entered and remained unlawfully inside of a store on the 300 block of South Cascade Drive in the Village of Springville with the intent to commit a crime. The defendant allegedly stole $38.04 in merchandise. At the time of the alleged crime, the defendant was banned from the store after a previous shoplifting incident in February 2022.

After the defendant was arraigned in Springville Village Court on the arson case, Justice O’Neal Adams revoked her bail in the pending burglary case as she is accused of committing a felony while released on a pending felony charge. Lilley is scheduled to return to Springville Village Court for further proceedings on the burglary case on Friday, March 3, 2023.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christine M. Garvey of the Felony Trials Bureau.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.