LAS VEGAS -- A 29-year-old Las Vegas woman has been arrested and charged with four counts of arson after a fire this morning.
June A. Wilkinson of Las Vegas has been charged with two counts of arson, first degree and two counts of third degree arson. She is being held in the Clark County Detention Center.
The fire started in an alley behind several businesses in the 1800 block of East Charleston Boulevard and spread to two vacant buildings in the 1800 block of Lewis Avenue.
Wilkerson was seen by witnesses who chased her before she was apprehended.
Fire investigators are looking into the possibility that she may be connected to several other intentionally set fires in the same area over the past two weeks. There were no reported injuries from this fire.
Las Vegas firefighters were dispatched to 1815 East Charleston Boulevard at 11:22 a.m. on a report of an apartment building on fire.
When firefighters arrived they found the rear of two small vacant buildings at 1816 and 1820 Lewis Avenue and a large tree on fire.
Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in less than ten minutes. Damage was confined to the two buildings and the large tree. Damage was estimated at $50,000.
According to witnesses the suspect set a couch that was sitting on the side of the alley on fire.
The fire quickly spread to a large tree next to the couch. The tree fire then set the two vacant apartment buildings on fire.
The fire also did significant damage to large television and telephone cables that ran overhead in the alley which will have to be replaced.
After setting the couch on fire, the suspect fled the scene and witnesses in the alley started to follow the woman.
As the woman was fleeing the area, witnesses said the woman stopped and set a bush on fire. After setting the fire, she determined she was being followed and started to run from the area.
She ran into a Metro Police car that was on Eastern Avenue east of the fire after receiving a call to look for the woman.
She was detained by Metro for Las Vegas Fire & Rescue fire investigators. She was identified by witnesses as the person who started the fires and was arrested. She was checked out by LVFR paramedics prior to being taken to the detention center after being short of breath. It was determined her condition was the result of her running while fleeing the area. She was checked out and released on scene.
A number of fires have been reported in that general area over the past two weeks. Witnesses reported seeing a woman leaving the area that fit the description of the suspect. Fire investigators will be looking into whether Wilkinson is connected to any of the previous fires.
There were no reported injuries with any of the fires.