Crime

She lit the house on fire while roommates slept after ‘spirits’ told her to, deputies say

A Spanaway woman who’d been drinking rubbing alcohol allegedly lit her house on fire early Tuesday with five other people sleeping inside.

The 51-year-old was taken to Tacoma General Hospital with minor burns and smoke inhalation.

Firefighters were called about 1:25 a.m. to a two-story house in the 20100 block of 75th Avenue Court East and found the home engulfed in flames.

After they doused the blaze, the woman told firefighters she’d poured rubbing alcohol on the floor and set it on fire because “spirits” told her to do so, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

A man asleep on the second floor awoke to the fire alarm and yelled for his roommates to go outside.

He told deputies the suspect’s bedroom appeared to be barricaded when he tried to enter and save her.

Moments later, he saw the woman jump from her bedroom window and land on a pickup truck parked below.

Some of the roommates, including the suspect’s sister, said the woman had been acting bizarre in recent days.

She sent cryptic text messages about earthquakes and Jesus coming, Troyer said.

The house was severely damaged and all six people who lived there have been displaced.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.
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