EVERETT, Wash. – Teresa Casados, 53, faced a judge Friday afternoon during a preliminary hearing. She could face charges of arson and domestic violence for her alleged involvement in a fire Monday night in downtown Arlington.
Police believe Casados spent Monday night arguing with her ex-husband, and then intentionally set his apartment on fire. The fire gutted the 115-year-old building.
“We don’t see crimes like this in our community all that often, hardly ever,” said Kristin Banfield with the Arlington Police Department.
Police say Casados’ ex-husband had been living in a makeshift apartment in the back of the 2 Bits & More consignment shop. Investigators said she called her ex Monday evening, alerting him to her plans.
On Monday night, firefighters scrambled to douse the flames and to prevent them from spreading to nearby businesses and apartments.
“She almost could have killed a group of people, if that’s the case,” said neighbor Bobby Davidson. “In reality she has no right to do that.”
“She is a danger to the community and a danger to the victim,” said Katelyn Thomason with the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s office. “I’m showing off my review of the criminal history, 32 prior failures to appear. More importantly, your honor, is the likelihood she would commit a violent offence.”
Damages to the historic building were estimated by the city of Arlington to reach nearly $500,000. Investigators were surprised that nobody was injured during the fire.
“What is infuriating is the risk that this put on everybody in this community,” said Banfield.
Police said they have surveillance video proving Casados left the crime scene just minutes before the fire started. She’s being held in jail on $500,000 bail.