Woman gets life in prison for fatal Christmas Eve arson


A woman who set a fire in a Chelsea apartment that killed another woman on Christmas Eve in 2010 has been sentenced to life in prison, according to theSuffolk County district attorney’s office.

Melissa Pfeiffer, 32, was convicted in February on a charge of second-degree murder.

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According to prosecutors, the Chelsea resident “intentionally lit” her boyfriend’s clothes on fire after the two had an argument in her apartment that night and he left their apartment.

Pfeiffer then left the building while clothes burned and did not alert residents in the building or call the fire department.

The woman killed, Crystal Lynn Blanchard, was trapped in an apartment with her boyfriend who managed to escape.

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Blanchard died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, prosecutors said.

Before sentencing, according to prosecutors, Blanchard’s family “addressed the court to recall the young woman as ‘a bright and caring person’ and a talented artist with a promising future ahead of her.”

“She would stop whatever she was doing to help someone else,” her stepfather said, adding thatPfeiffer didn’t even know her victim.

“You would have been friends,” he said. “Instead, you’ve stolen, ruined and changed so many lives.”

Pfeiffer will be eligible for parole in 15 years.

Matt Lee is a web producer for Metro New York. He writes about almost everything and anything. Talk to him (or yell at him) on Twitter so he doesn’t feel lonely:@off_Yellow.

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