Pierce County sheriff’s deputies have arrested a woman in connection with an arson earlier this month at a Spanaway Kmart.
Detectives received an anonymous tip on the woman’s identity and conducted a followup investigation. Lakewood police arrested the 21-year-old woman on an outstanding theft warrant, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. She was later booked on suspicion of first-degree arson for the Kmart fire.
Flames broke out inside the Kmart, 17911 Pacific Ave. S., about 7:30 p.m. April 13. The fire was set in the painting supply area of the store and sparked several explosions in spray paint canisters and other aerosol containers.
The fire was intense, creating a lot of heat quickly and setting off 19 smoke detector heads. It caused an estimated $3 million in damage.
A short time later, another suspicious fire broke out inside the Dollar Tree, 18101 Pacific Ave. S. Employees quickly extinguished the blaze.
Investigators suspected the two fires were sparked by the same person.
Last week, the Sheriff’s Department released surveillance photos of a woman who pushed a cart full of merchandise out a side door of the Kmart moments after the explosions. She hid the cart in an alley and disappeared.
Troyer said the woman arrested Friday is the same woman in the surveillance images.