Eviction leads to arson arrest

Spring Hill, Florida -- As a deputy was responding to an apartment to evict a resident, the woman attempted to light the home on fire.

On March 31, Deputy Rick Swain responded to an apartment on Jason Road in Spring Hill to serve a final order of eviction to April Evans. When he arrived at the apartment he smelled something burning and noticed smoke inside the vacant apartment. Several smoldering rags were found in the bathroom sink.

Detectives learned that April Evans was seen inside the residence less than five minutes before Deputy Swain arrived. Evans previously made statements to both neighbors and the property owner about setting the building on fire. Evans even left voice messages on the property owner's phone advising that "he better have insurance on his building."

The State Fire Marshal (SFM) arrived on scene and deemed the fire an arson. The SFM also found that the smoke detectors in the apartment had been deactivated by someone ripping them out of the ceiling. The smoke alarms were sitting on the floor.

Detectives found Evans on April 1 and she said she was not at the apartment at the time of this incident. She then advised detectives that she was at the apartment and lit several pieces of paper on fire; as the flames got bigger, she placed rags on the fire to put it out. She claimed she waited until the fire was out before exiting the apartment.

Evans told detectives that the smoke detectors were on the floor because, several days prior, she was cooking and the detectors were going off. Evans admitted to making threats to burn the building down, but stated she did so out of anger.


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