By ANDREW RAMOS
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. (PIX11)— A Florida woman was arrested and charged after admitting to police that she accidentally burned down a 3,500 year-old tree - the fifth oldest on the planet - while smoking meth with a friend.
The historic cypress tree named The Senator located in Big Tree Park in Longwood, Fla., caught fire and was destroyed on Jan. 16. Officials initially deemed the blaze suspicious, suspecting it was an act of arson. It turned out they were on to something.
Police said Barnes admitted to being inside the 118-foot tree, days before flames engulfed it. Barnes and a friend were smoking meth and used an open flame as a guide, authorities said.
The tree burned down a week later, eventually burning from the inside out.
The loss is undoubtedly one of epic proportions to the historic natural world. And as for Barnes, she's still coping in her own way.
"I can't believe I burned down a tree older then Jesus," Barnes reportedly told friends shortly after the blaze. Bravo Sarah. You did it!