Crime

Lakewood police arrest man suspected of starting apartment fire that injured woman

A man wanted for allegedly starting a fire at a Lakewood apartment complex that seriously injured a 60-year-old woman was arrested early Monday.

Police have been searching for Roger Faleafine, 30, since the Sept. 5 blaze at the Lone Pine apartments on Chicago Avenue Southwest. A warrant was issued last week.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged Falefine and Alicia Stephens with first-degree arson. Stephens, 22, has already pleaded not guilty. Faleafine is expected to be arraigned Tuesday.

Prosecutors contend Faleafine started the fire in the stairwell of the complex to target a man who allegedly pointed a gun at him during a verbal dispute earlier that day.

The gun accidentally went off, striking the bicycle of Stephens, who was nearby. Stephens is accused of accompanying Faleafine to find a gas can and fill it with gasoline just before the fire.

A woman who lives in the apartment next to the intended target caught fire and was forced to jump from a second-story balcony to escape the flames.

She suffered serious burns but is expected to survive.

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