A man suspected of starting a Lakewood apartment fire that forced a woman to jump from an upstairs balcony to escape the flames pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree arson.
Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Roger Faleafine, 30, jailed in lieu of $350,000 bail. A co-defendant, Alicia Stephens, was held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
The 60-year-old woman who jumped from the balcony of her home at the Lone Pine Apartments, 5212 Chicago Ave. SW, is recovering from serious burns after her clothes caught fire in the Sept. 5 blaze.
Police said Faleafine lit the fire in retaliation against one of the woman’s neighbors, who allegedly pointed a gun at Faleafine during an earlier argument and accidentally shot a bullet at Stephen’s bicycle.
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It’s unclear whether that man was home at the time of the fire.
Surveillance footage from a nearby convenience store shows Faleafine buying gasoline, according to charging papers.
Stephens allegedly told police she didn’t see Faleafine light the fire but he told her he was going to “handle business.”