Paperwork snafu sets arson suspect free

UPDATED: TUESDAY, SEPT. 4, 2012, 2:38 P.M.

A 33-year-old woman suspected of setting a Spokane taxi cab on fire before setting two small fires inside a building on the WSU Riverpoint campus was ordered released from jail today because authorities failed to complete the necessary paperwork detailing the allegations against her

It was immediately unclear why the paperwork wasn’t completed.

Daniele L. Williamson was freed by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese during an afternoon court appearance where prosecutors had intended to seek her detention on two counts of arson, attempted first-degree robbery, armed first-degree burglary and third-degree theft. She was arrested Sunday night just after the fires were discovered about 10 p.m., according to the Spokane Fire Department.

Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said investigators did not indicate why Williamson started the fires.

“The report on the system here doesn’t indicate anything but a very mad female,” he said.

Fire records indicate that Williamson attempted to start a taxi cab van, in which she was a passenger, on fire.

“It sounds like she put some sort of combustible on the gas spout. (The fire) didn’t go any further than the gas spout,” he said. “It could have been an explosive situation. Fortunately for us, it wasn’t.”

After leaving the van, Williamson entered the Health and Sciences Building at 310 N. Riverpoint Blvd., and started two fires by igniting piles of papers, Schaeffer said.

“The fires were recognizable but it doesn’t sound like they caused much damage,” he said.

Before leaving, Williamson activated two pull stations to the same fire alarm. During the same incident, Williamson claimed to have a bomb in a backpack even though none was found.

Schaeffer said investigators did not initially list any motive for the situation and he doesn’t believe she is a student.

Tags: Arson, fire

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