Sequim woman arrested in arson probe

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — A Sequim woman is expected to be arraigned today in Clallam County Superior Court on an arson charge after she allegedly set fire to an apartment in Sequim from which she reportedly was being evicted.

Kristen Gail Mills, 50, is expected to be arraigned at 1 p.m. after being booked in to the Clallam County jail Saturday for investigation of one count of first-degree arson.

Mills remained in jail Tuesday in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Sequim police arrested Mills on Saturday night, a day after Clallam County Fire District No. 3 crews were called to a fire that started in the apartment Mills was living in at a complex at 730 E. Washington Place in northeast Sequim.

Fire District No. 3 crews and Sequim police were alerted at about 3 p.m. Friday to the report of smoke coming from the apartment, said Patrick Young, department spokesman.

Young said the fire was extinguished before it reached any other apartments.

No injuries were reported.

The entire apartment complex was evacuated while the fire was fought.

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

Sequim Police Officer Paul Dailidenas filed the following account of the fire investigation in court documents associated with the case:

Fire investigators from the Clallam County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives identified the fire was set on purpose from three separate areas in the apartment:

■   Three of the four electric stove's burners had been left on with flammable items placed on them.

■   Papers, books, couch cushions and furniture and been piled in the living room and set on fire.

■   Dresser drawers in the bedroom had been stuffed with paper and cardboard and ignited.

Mills was seen at about 9:20 p.m. Saturday and arrested by Sequim police after neighbors called to report a suspicious person near the storage units just east of the apartment complex.

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

Last modified: July 02. 2013 7:07PM
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