General Crime

Woman Arrested On Suspicion Of Setting Eight Fires Near Highway 101 In Santa Rosa

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Santa Rosa police have arrested a woman suspected of setting eight fires along the U.S. Highway 101 corridor in Santa Rosa during a 2-hour period this morning.

Witnesses identified Lorraine Helen Martin, 50, of Santa Rosa as the suspect, police Sgt. Phil Brazis said.

Officers arrested her at the scene of the last fire, a Dumpster fire at 600 Bicentennial Way at 8:26 a.m.

Santa Rosa Fire Inspector Scott Moon said Martin, a transient, was contacted as she walked west on the Bicentennial Way overpass of the highway.

Moon said Martin used a lighter to ignite flammable materials in the Dumpsters, trashcans and vegetation.

The first fire was reported at about 6:35 a.m. in vegetation at Piner Road and Range Avenue, Brazis said.

Four of the blazes were in Dumpsters, one was a mattress fire, others were in multiple trashcans and another was a bush fire, Brazis said.

The fires were on Russell and Cleveland avenues, Professional Drive near the Sonoma County government complex, Piner Road and Bicentennial Way, Brazis said.

Moon said five fire engines were out dousing the blazes this morning.

“They were all in hidden spots off the beaten path,” said Santa Rosa Battalion Chief Mark Basque, who came upon one of the blazes on Professional Drive.

Martin is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court.

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