Lights & Sirens

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Tacoma woman charged with setting fire over husband’s alleged affair

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Jan. 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
January 2, 2013 4:09 pm

In the charred pile were remnants of her husband’s alleged affair: lingerie, sex toys and photographs.

Pierce County prosecutors say Jenny Mena, 32, burned the items in her Tacoma home Dec. 30, starting a fire with heavy enough smoke that her four daughters hid in a closet and called a relative for help.

Today, Mena pleaded not guilty to aggravated first-degree arson. Her bail was set at $100,000.

Charging documents give this account:

Mena’s 13-year-old daughter called her uncle in Arizona to advise him that her mom was burning dad’s stuff. The daughter opened windows in the house and told her three younger sisters to get in a closet.

When police arrived at the home in the 3820 block of East J Street, they spotted children peeking out of an upstairs window. Mena told officers there had been a fire in the bedroom but it was out.

Police found charred debris on the bedroom floor.

“The defendant said she burned some pictures because she was mad,” documents state.

Mena told police her daughters weren’t home when she burned her husband’s belongings. The girls, who were in their pajamas, told police they had been home all night except when they went to the store with their dad.

“The Fire Department said the likelihood of the home catching fire was extremely high as there was clothing and a bed inches away from where the pile of burning debris was,” documents state.

KIRO-TV reports that Mena’s husband spoke at her arraignment, pleading for her release and blaming the media for blowing the situation out of proportion.

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