POLICE: Woman set group home on fire because she wanted cigarettes

Dec 03, 2017

A woman who set fire to the doorway of a group home when the owner of the group home refused to give her cigarettes was arrested on Friday night, according to a police report.

Hannah’s Place, in the 7300 block of Cameron Road, is a home for people with limited mental capacity. The group home’s owner told police the resident, Francine Almond, 55, became agitated when the owner refused to give Almond cigarettes. The owner told Almond to go out onto the front porch, and around 10 p.m. the owner noticed a flashing light through the window of the building. The owner went outside to find the front entrance on fire and put the flame out with water and saw Almond walking away from the building, the police report states.

The flames scorched the front door and melted plastic signs attached to the door. Almond left the scene and walked to a bus stop Coronado Hills Drive, later admitting to fire crews that she set the fire because she was angry, according to the police report.

Fire investigators expressed concerns that, had the fire spread, the residents of Hannah’s Place might have been unable to get out of the building due to their disabilities and medications they take.

Almond was arrested and charged with arson with the intent to damage a habitation. She is being held on $25,000 bail.

On Thursday evening, police arrested Edward Avalos on an arson charge for setting fire to his family’s home near the 5000 block of Sunset Trail.