BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Springville woman pleaded guilty to causing a fire at an apartment complex in the Village of Springville earlier this year, the Erie County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday.
In the plea, 37-year-old Sara J. Lilley admitted to starting the fire at Springbrook Apartments, located on North Buffalo Street, in the late evening of Jan. 23. There were no injuries in the fire, but several apartment units were damaged and several residents were displaced.
She pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree arson.
Lilley was well-known to deputies before the arson. In January, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia told News 4 that she had been the subject of 63 911 calls in the six months leading up to the fire.
In the hours before the blaze, she had been transported to Erie County Medical Center’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program for a mental health evaluation. Just hours later, Lilley was back in Springville, where she was arrested in connection with the fire.
Neighbors had also reported Lilley to authorities several times before the fire. At the time, she was also facing a burglary charge in connection to an incident in October 2022.
She faces up to 25 years in prison when she is sentenced on Nov. 1.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.