House arrest, supervision for woman who torched grandfather's Hanover home

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Hanover Borough Police said Lorrelei Bainbridge set this house fire in the first block of Ridge Avenue, where she lived, on Oct. 7, 2020. She pleaded no contest to arson on May 27, 2021, and was admitted to York County's Mental Health Wellness Court.

A former Hanover woman who police said burned down her grandfather's home while drunk then laughed and boasted about it has been accepted into the county's Wellness Court program.

Lorrelei Tamor Bainbridge, 53, now with a Thomasville address, appeared in York County court on Wednesday, where she pleaded no contest to a first-degree felony charge of arson and to driving under the influence, which is a misdemeanor, according to Kyle King, spokesperson for the York County District Attorney's Office. Court records state it's her second DUI offense.

She was sentenced to five years of probationary supervision with DUI-related restrictive conditions that include 90 days of house arrest and six months of wearing an alcohol-monitoring ankle cuff, King said.

Bainbridge must also comply with all recommended treatment; maintain a job; pay restitution, court costs and fines; and be supervised by the Mental Health Wellness Court program, he said. Restitution is owed to the fire company for the expenses it incurred battling the blaze, King indicated.

Bainbridge boasted she "made it look like candles caused the fire," according to court documents.

Police have said a Hanover firefighter suffered first- and second-degree burns to his face while battling the blaze and was treated for those injuries at a local hospital.

Bainbridge set fire to her grandfather's home in the first block of Ridge Avenue in the borough about 5 p.m. Oct. 7, Hanover Borough Police have said.

The fire caused substantial damage to the home as well as smoke damage to an attached home, court documents state.

At the time, a neighbor reported hearing a smoke detector sounding from inside the home and seeing Bainbridge — who lived there at the time — leaving in her pickup truck with a dog, according to documents.

Hanover Borough Fire Chief Tony Clousher determined there were two separate areas where the fire started, known as points of origin — in the first-floor living room and in a second-floor bedroom, documents state. He determined the fire was arson, police said.

While officers were still on the scene, Bainbridge's boyfriend drove up with Bainbridge in the passenger seat. The boyfriend told police that Bainbridge was intoxicated and had started the blaze, court state.

Hanover Borough Police said Lorrelei Bainbridge set this house fire in the first block of Ridge Avenue, where she lived, on Oct. 7, 2020. She pleaded no contest to arson on May 27, 2021.

'Belligerent': She smelled of alcohol and was belligerent, police said, denying she torched the home and claiming she lit two candles to "calm her" before taking her dog for a walk, documents state.

As she was led to a waiting police cruiser, Bainbridge threatened to fight police and threatened a number of bystanders with physical harm, according to documents.

In the cruiser, Bainbridge admitted drinking a quarter of a bottle of Crown Royal whisky and driving her pickup truck to a local business in the 1100 block of Carlisle Street, where she left it, police have said.

Her boyfriend told investigators he was driving home when he spotted Bainbridge driving with the dog in her truck and followed her to the business lot where she parked, police said.

According to the boyfriend, Bainbridge "laughed and stated she burned the house down and made it look like candles caused the fire," court documents state.

Hanover Borough Police said Lorrelei Bainbridge set this house fire in the first block of Ridge Avenue, where she lived, on Oct. 7, 2020. She pleaded no contest to arson on May 27, 2021.

The boyfriend took her keys and drove her back to the Ridge Avenue home to meet with officers, police said.

Officers later found a marijuana pipe and a half-full bottle of Crown Royal in her truck, documents state.

The back seat of Bainbridge's pickup "was loaded with clothing and other personal effects," making it appear "as though someone was intending on leaving with no intentions of returning," documents state.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.