LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A 52-year-old arson suspect was jailed this morning in connection with a fire at a West Adams apartment complex that forced residents of one unit to leap to safety from the second floor of their apartment, seriously injuring one of the occupants.
An arrest warrant was issued for Tameca Walker for the April 21 fire that occurred at a two-story, wood frame stucco duplex located at 2936 S. Rimpau Blvd., near Jefferson Boulevard, and she was taken into custody Monday by members of the Los Angeles Fire Department's Arson Counter Terrorism Section and the Los Angeles Police Department's Fugitive Warrant Squad, the LAFD said in a statement.
Walker was suspected of pouring gasoline outside the building and on the ground, then using a crowbar to break one of the apartment's windows before lighting the vapors of the gasoline with matches causing the fire, which spread into the apartment through the broken window, burning the inside and blocking the exit, the statement said.
Three people inside the unit at the time of the fire ran upstairs and were forced to jump out of a second-story window to safety. While jumping, one of the victim broke her back when she landed on the ground, the LAFD said.
Walker was taken into custody at her home and a loaded gun was found during a search of the home, the fire department said. The location of Walker's residence was not disclosed.
Walker was being held on $250,000 bail and was expected to be charged with two felony counts of arson that could result in up to 14 years in prison. Her next court appearance was not disclosed.
ACTS commander, Battalion Chief Scott Anderson, said this case has been a top priority for the department.
“We want to bring justice to the victims and make sure these types of fires don't happen again,” Anderson said. “I'm very proud of the work that our arson investigators have done in solving this case.”