Columbia woman arrested on suspicion of arson

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 | 6:17 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A Columbia woman has been charged with first-degree arson in connection with a fire at 1509 West Worley St. that officials believe was deliberately set.

Columbia police arrested Diana K. Jackson, 46, on suspicion of setting the fire, which caused $1,500 worth of damage to the east side of the duplex, according to a news release from the Columbia Fire Department.

Jackson is being held at the Boone County Jail, police said.

Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said the fire department received a 911 call at 2:43 a.m. and arrived on the scene four minutes later. Neighbors on the west side of the apartment complex made the call, and the residents of the damaged apartment were not at home at the time of the fire, Sapp said.

No injuries were reported.

Residents of the damaged apartment were asked to evacuate their home for two days during cleanup, and they have also been put in touch with the American Red Cross.

The Columbia Police Department, working with Columbia fire investigators, spoke to neighbors in the duplex, which led to an interview with Jackson.

During her interview with police investigators, Jackson made incriminating statements about the crime which ultimately led to her arrest, Sapp said. He declined to comment on the nature of the statements.

However, authorities think Jackson knows some residents of the apartment in question and set the fire after an altercation Monday night.

The landlord of the damaged property, Geneva Moody, said she was not aware of an altercation between her tenant and the suspect, and declined to comment on the names of the affected tenants or any previous issues with the building.

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