Woman charged with arson in Garrard Co. food pantry fire

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LANCASTER, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – Officials in Garrard County say a woman is in custody following a fire Sunday morning at the Garrard County Food Pantry.

Garrard County Emergency Management tells us the building appears to be a total loss.

Debra Smalling, 60, was arrested at her home Sunday night in Lancaster. Police Chief Rodney Kidd says she was identified through surveillance video obtained from the scene. Smalling is charged with second-degree arson and first-degree criminal mischief.

“Our Community is suffering, We lost a very important place that so many depend on. Please keep Gregory Scott Cash and Angie Cash and all those in our community that depend on the pantry,” Lancaster City Fire and Rescue said in a Facebook post.

The EMA director said there was nobody in the building during the fire and there were no injuries.

Smalling is being held in the Jessamine County Detention Center.

The fire comes just weeks before Thanksgiving, beginning a holiday season that is always a busy time for food pantries.

In a Facebook post, food pantry leaders asked for prayers and said they “will keep marching forward.” A food box distribution for seniors will go on as scheduled Monday at Lancaster Baptist Church.

A GoFundMe has been setup to benefit the Garrard County Food Pantry.

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