LOCKPORT – A former Buffalo public school teacher, whose attorney said she suffers from “dementia,” pleaded guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court to starting a fire in her Town of Lockport home Oct. 14.
Dawn R. Bryant, 51, of Harvest Ridge Way, admitted to fourth-degree arson, a felony that carries a maximum four-year prison sentence. County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III is to sentence her July 20.
Assistant District Attorney John N. Philipps Jr. said Bryant lighted a piece of paper at her stove shortly after midnight and dropped it on the floor, where she had previously poured some sort of accelerant. “It may have been a solvent,” Philipps said.
Bryant, who said she is being treated for cancer, depression and memory problems, said she put out the fire. Her three children, two of them adults, were in the home with her at the time.