Sequim woman accused of setting apartment fire

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — A 50-year-old Sequim woman accused of first-degree arson linked to a Sequim apartment fire faces trial Aug. 26 after she pleaded not guilty to the charge last week.

Kristen Gail Mills pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree arson Friday in Clallam County Superior Court.

Her next appearance in court will be July 26 for a status hearing.

Mills remained in the Clallam County jail Tuesday on $25,000 bond.

Sequim police arrested Mills the evening of June 29, a day after crews from Clallam County Fire District No. 3 were called to a fire in an apartment at a complex at 730 E. Washington Place in northeast Sequim.

Police said Mills allegedly started the fire in an apartment she was renting.

Fire District No. 3 spokesman Patrick Young said the fire was extinguished before it reached any other apartments in the complex and that no injuries were reported.

Police said Mills was in the process of being evicted from her apartment and was avoiding service of an eviction notice.

After the fire was put out, fire investigators found fires had been intentionally set in three separate areas of the apartment and that two smoke detectors in the apartment had been disabled.

According to court documents filed in the case, investigators found three of the four electric stovetop burners in the apartment had been left on, with flammable materials placed across them; papers, books and couch cushions had been piled in the living room and set on fire; and dresser drawers in the bedroom had been stuffed with paper and cardboard, then ignited.

Police arrested Mills at about 9:20 p.m. June 29 at the apartment complex’s storage units after neighbors had called to report a suspicious person there.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 16. 2013 5:32PM
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