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Couple charged in Oakland Township arson after pay stub found at scene, officials say

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A 20-year-old woman and her partner have been charged with arson in Oakland Township after investigators said she used a pay stub to help start the fire, sheriff's officials said Wednesday.

Abigail Marie Grzywacz and Samual Blair Wolfe were identified soon after a home under construction in the 4400 block of Applewood Court erupted in flames twice on Sunday, investigators said in a statement.

When the first blaze was extinguished around 2:10 p.m., "the Sheriff’s Office Fire Investigations Unit was called to determine the cause and origin as there were other locations in the structure where attempts were made to start additional fires," according to the release.

A second fire was reported at the same site around 9:15 p.m. that night, resulting in minor damage, the Sheriff's Office said. 

Combined mugshot showing Abigail Marie Grzywacz and Samual Blair Wolfe, both 20 and of Shelby Township. They were charged this week in connection with arson reported twice Sunday at an Oakland Township home under construction.

The next day, investigators returned to the scene to gather evidence and determined the blaze had been intentionally set. They identified Grzywacz as a suspect after allegedly finding a pay stub from her employer that contained the Shelby Township woman's name and address, police said.

She and Wolfe, also 20, were arrested and allegedly made incriminating statements to investigators, sheriff's officials said Wednesday.

Authorities also obtained a neighbor's video that allegedly shows the couple running from the site after the second fire then driving off, police said. The pair are believed to have chosen the home randomly.

“Through the great partnership of the Oakland Township Fire Department and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office fire investigation team, the home was protected from destruction and the perpetrators were identified and arrested,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “They would have put firefighters lives in jeopardy as well as destroyed a home, had their fire spread further. We look forward to them being held accountable for their actions.”

The couple was arraigned Tuesday in 52nd District Court – Division 3 in Rochester Hills on two counts each for third-degree arson, a 10-year felony.

Magistrate Karen Holt set bond at $5,000. Their next court date is scheduled for July 1.