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A house fire that occurred on December 4 in Frenchtown now appears to be the work of an arsonist. 29-year-old Randi Lamont will appear in court on Monday on charges of arson and cruelty to animals.

Public Information officer for the Missoula County Sheriff’s office Jason Johnson says that deputies became suspicious after hearing Lamont's testimony.

"She had interesting excuses for different things," explains Johnson. "such as having calling her ex-husband the night before and asking him to watch the animals that were in the house. Also, there were Christmas gifts in the storage unit and not in the house. Ultimately, in the very end, she didn't give a full admission, but stated that she had thrown a newspaper at a lit candle and perhaps that is what caused the fire."

There's even more to this story, though. Johnson says that another home of Lamont's burned down in Great Falls just this past summer. No charges were filed in that case, but Johnson says the “circumstances of that situation kind of match what we've discovered here. It appears to be an attempt on her behalf to get sympathy and attention as she faces difficult times in her life.”

Lamont was scheduled to be in court for another matter on December 5th the day after the Frenchtown fire.