Woman charged with arson following apartment fire - WNEM TV 5

Woman charged with arson following apartment fire

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A 28-year-old woman has been charged with arson after a fire broke out at an apartment complex in Flint on Nov. 22.

It happened at Lake Shore Apartments at 410 Lippincott about 2:15 p.m. There are 18 units in the complex and 15 were occupied. Most of the units were considered a complete loss.

All of the tenants made it out, Flint Fire Chief Raymond Barton said.

Two tenants escaped their second-floor apartment by tying bed sheets together. One of them fell and was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

Several firefighters were trapped for a brief amount of time when flames spread quickly and they were unable to exit the way they entered the building. Ladders were raised and they were able to safely escape, Barton said.

Three firefighters were taken to the hospital. One of them received burns to his neck and an ear. The other two were taken as a precaution because their oxygen masks ran out.

"They were trained and prepared, but it did catch them off guard. But they didn't panic and everybody got out," Barton said.

Red Cross is helping the displaced residents.

"I didn't know the fire was there until my landlord bammed on my window and said, 'Fire! Get out of the building,'" Jeryl Blackwell said.

She is one of the dozen people who lost everything when fire tore through her building. She said she escaped with the most important thing - her life.

"Thank God for letting me get out of that building," Blackwell said.

Charise Holt, 28, was charged with four counts of first degree arson related to the incident. Each count carries a maximum penalty of up to life in prison.

Holt had recently been evicted from her apartment and was in the process of moving out, Prosecutor David Leyton said.

"This was a dangerous situation and we are very fortunate that nobody died," Leyton said.

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