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Woman arrested for arson following Phoenix business fire that claimed two lives

A girl was arrested Thursday afternoon for arson and first-degree homicide after two individuals have been killed in a Phoenix business fire on Saturday, in keeping with court docket data.

Katisha Susan Smith, 44, of Phoenix was arrested for her alleged involvement in a fire at J&J Sofa Manufacturing close to 59th Avenue and Buckeye Road, court docket paperwork state. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office was initially referred to as to the fire simply previous 10 p.m. Saturday and arson investigators later found that two unidentified individuals died within the constructing — one on the entryway and one other contained in the burned construction, in keeping with data.

Surveillance footage revealed that simply earlier than the fire, a person and a lady, recognized as Smith by detectives, arrived on the business in a automobile. Court paperwork point out that after the two suspects exited the automobile, Smith handed an unknown object to the person, who then ignited it. Subsequently, the person threw the flaming object into the property earlier than each suspects fled the world of their automobile.

The Phoenix Fire Department responded to the incident after a caller reported a “small debris fire” by {an electrical} pole within the space, court docket paperwork state. However, data present that when fire division personnel arrived, they found the fire had unfold to the encircling buildings.

Charging paperwork state that the Maricopa County Medical Examiner dominated the deaths of the two individuals discovered within the burned construction as homicides. When a murder detective from the sheriff’s workplace questioned Smith in regards to the fire, court docket data state that Smith stated she was “forced to participate” within the incident.

Upon looking out Smith’s residence, detectives additionally situated “dangerous” medication and drug paraphernalia, in keeping with charging paperwork.

Court data present that Smith was booked right into a Maricopa County jail on the following fees: two counts of first-degree homicide; one rely of arson; one rely of possession of drug paraphernalia and one rely of possession of harmful medication.

Smith was scheduled to subsequent seem in court docket on Friday.

Madeline Nguyen is a breaking information reporter for The Republic. Reach her at [email protected] or 480-619-0285. Follow her on X @madelineynguyen.

This article initially appeared on Arizona Republic: Katisha Smith arrested for arson after Phoenix fire leaves two dead

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