Police: 2 dogs dead after Venice woman sets fire to home

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VENICE, FL. - A Venice woman has been arrested for starting a fire in a home she lives in.

A Venice Police officer was notified about the fire in the 700 block of Laurel Avenue around 6:30 Sunday night.

As smoked poured from the residence, officers say 51-year-old Leonora Lance sat on the lanai and seemed confused and unaware of any danger.

Venice firefighters were able to put the fire out, but the rear portion of the home is a total loss and Lance's two dogs were found inside dead.

Police say Lance's husband returned home as the fire was being brought under control. He had been at the store buying batteries for the smoke detectors, because his wife had recently been starting fires.

Officers say Lance was taken into custody by baker act for starting fires twice before -- in 2005 and 2009.

This time, because of the extensive property damage and death of the dogs, she was arrested for arson.

Lance is being held in the Sarasota County Jail without bond.