Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : Woman Held in $260,000 Fire at Apartments
Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 37-year-old woman who allegedly started an Aug. 5 fire that destroyed the two-story Palmdale apartment building in which she had been living.
Russen Crawford was arrested late Tuesday after a deputy spotted her in the parking lot of a Sierra Highway motel in Lancaster. She was jailed at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Antelope Valley Station in lieu of $250,000 bail.
On Wednesday, Crawford pleaded not guilty to an arson charge during an arraignment before Antelope Municipal Judge Ian R. Grant, who scheduled her preliminary hearing for Sept. 6.
Sheriff’s arson investigators obtained a warrant for Crawford’s arrest after witnesses said they saw her removing personal items from her apartment, then throwing a lighted candle to ignite a mattress.
The resulting fire did an estimated $260,000 damage to the four-unit apartment building at 38458 10th St. East. No one was injured in the blaze, authorities said.