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Date Released: 9/3/2003
Subject: Arson Arrest
Contact: Brenda Gainey
Case No#: 200305886
Released By: Brenda Gainey, PIO

Location: Arcata

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies have made an arrest in connection with an arson fire in Arcata this morning. Shortly after 5:00 AM deputies assigned to the county’s arson task force responded to a reported structure fire on the south end Lorelei Lane. Upon their arrival they found a warehouse-type structure fully engulfed.

The Arcata Fire Department had been called by two transients who had been camping in the building. The two occupants reported that they had been asleep and had awakened to find the building on fire. They reported that they had had a altercation with a woman earlier this morning. They said that at about 2:00 AM a woman entered the structure and set one of their blankets on fire. The woman left after the confrontation and they were able to extinguish the burning blanket.

Then, shortly before 5:00 AM, the couple woke to find the building on fire. The door had been barricaded shut and the couple had to break through the barricade to escape the fire.

Based on witness’ statements, sheriff’s deputies arrested Rae Ann Rees, a forty-nine year old transient. Rees will be booked on charges of arson and two counts of attempted murder.