Burnham woman pleads guilty to reckless endangerment

LEWISTOWN–A Burnham woman, charged in December for starting a kitchen fire while she was intoxicated, pleaded guilty Tuesday to recklessly endangering another person, before President Judge David Barron.

Michele Royer, 51, was sentenced to a minimum of time-served to a maximum of nine months incarceration, placing her on nine months parole and is required to undergo drug and alcohol counseling.

Documents state that Royer was discovered in late December, passed out from intoxication in a smoke-filled half-duplex, after starting to cook hot dogs on a glass-top stove. According to court documents, a resident of the other side of the duplex told police she could hear the smoke alarms sounding next door and knocked loudly on both the front and back door to get Royer’s attention. The resident said, when she saw the kitchen area filled with smoke, she forcibly entered the kitchen to find Royer on the sofa, unresponsive.

Documents indicate the neighbor was finally able to wake Royer and tell her that there was a fire, but Royer did not seem to recognize the emergency situation. According to court documents, Royer had been previously discharged from an alcohol rehabilitation facility, after spending 45 days there, and a relative of Royer’s expressed concern to police for Royer’s safety and the safety of the neighbors, following the fire.

Firefighters reported initially finding the kitchen filled with smoke and a pan with burned hot dogs on a stove. Chief Bill Fike reportedly removed the pan and placed it in the kitchen sink, which was filled with water. Fike told police if the neighbors had not taken action, there would have been a house fire which could have resulted in loss of life, due to Royer’s level of intoxication, court documents state.

In addition to ordering her parole and counseling, Barron sentenced Royer to pay a $300 fine and the costs of prosecution.