STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The business owner charged with setting a fire in downtown Stroudsburg was in court Monday. Her family jewelry store plus other offices and apartments were destroyed. Eyewitness News broke the story earlier this month, and we’re now hearing from one of the families who were displaced.
Mona Siwiec, 64, of Saylorsburg waived her right to a preliminary hearing. That means her case automatically moves forward to trial, or possibly a plea deal.
George and Suzanne Weatherbee loved living in their apartment above Main Street.
“We were happy, and she took that all away from us,” George Weatherbee Jr. says.
Investigators say Siwiec admits to setting 14KT Outlet’s Fine Jewelry Designs on fire in early February.
The Weatherbee’s lost everything that night and attended this hearing hoping for answers.
“I’m very interested in this case, considering it could have ended a lot worse for everybody. So, I want to see justice hopefully get served eventually,” says Robert Shenk, the Weatherbee’s son.
Siwiec’s husband, who also owns the jewelry store, comforted his wife in court. After the hearing, he tried shielding her from our camera using an umbrella.
According to court paperwork, the night of the fire, officers found Siwiec parked outside of a police station in Northampton County. She was in the back seat covered in newspaper and an umbrella.
Investigators are trying to determine if mental issues are a factor.
“It’s something we’ll be talking about in court, but I don’t think I can say much about it now,” says Philip Lauer, Siwiec’s defense attorney.
Since the fire, the Weatherbee’s have found another place to live. They’ll never forget the panic when smoke suddenly filled their apartment.
“I didn’t know what was going on. I was in, you know, fight or flight mode,” George Weatherbee Jr. recalls.
The Weatherbee’s say a one-week-old baby was inside an apartment when the fire sparked. They’re just happy no firefighters or tenants were hurt.
Siwiec will be formally arraigned in October. She faces arson and several reckless endangerment charges. After her arrest, she was released on $60,000 dollars bail.