Firefighters battled this four-alarm blaze Jan. 7 in Carroll Township.
Firefighters battled this four-alarm blaze Jan. 7 in Carroll Township. (DAILY RECORD / SUNDAY NEWS -- FILE)

Shortly before setting a fire that destroyed a historic York County farmhouse, a Carroll Township woman got into a fight with her father over eating a brownie, according to police.

During the exchange, Stephanie Anne Rydesky picked up her father's cane and smashed him in the mouth, splitting his lip open, police said.

She then ran to the kitchen to grab a knife, police said.

The same day, Jan. 7, Rydesky was found wandering around Ore Bank Road in Carroll Township as the family home was burning.

She would later tell investigators she wanted to commit suicide by setting herself on fire, police said.

Rydesky, 32, of the 200 block of Ore Bank Road, remains in York County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Stephanie Rydesky
Stephanie Rydesky
She is charged with assault, arson and arson-related charges, according to police.

Before the fire, Dr. Stephen M. Rydesky Jr. asked his daughter to eat a brownie before she flew off the couch, picked up his cane and hit him in the mouth, according to a criminal complaint filed by Carroll Township Police Cpl. Thomas Wargo.

In responding to the scene of the fire, Wargo found Stephanie Rydesky walking around Ore Bank Road, near Mumper Lane, picked her up and returned her home. She showed no emotion to the fact that her house was on fire, Wargo said.

The fire was determined to be intentionally set in the master bedroom at the east end of the home, where an open flame was used to ignite combustible material, according to a joint investigation by Wargo and state police fire marshal Patrick J. McKenna Jr.

The four-alarm fire caused an estimated $400,000 in damage to the stone farmhouse, which was built in the 1860s.

When interviewed by investigators, Stephanie Rydesky did not say she started the fire but said she wanted to commit suicide by either a drug overdose or by setting herself on fire.

A neighbor, Shelly Abrashoff, told police she saw Stephanie Rydesky at the home at the same time she saw the house on fire and then saw Rydesky walking toward Ore Bank Road while the home was burning, according to court records. Stephanie Rydesky admitted to police she was alone when she left the home before the fire started, police said.