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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Woman accused of Garland District arson faces attempted murder, assault charges

Heather Hall comforts her son, Owen McFarlane, 3 months, after a fire broke out in the house she resided in, far right, Thursday in Spokane’s Garland Business District.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

A woman wanted by police on suspicion of setting a house ablaze, seriously injuring a woman and killing multiple pets Thursday in north Spokane, is now facing attempted murder and assault charges in addition to arson.

Jenny Barden, 36, remained at large Friday after the Thursday morning fire in the Garland Neighborhood. She is facing charges of first-degree arson, first-degree attempted murder and six counts of first-degree assault, according to a Spokane Police Department news release.

Barden is white, about 5-foot-2 and 120 pounds. Anyone who knows Barden’s whereabouts is urged to call 911 or contact Detective Wayne Downing at

Spokane police and fire units responded to the blaze around 8:30 a.m. at 3910 N. Wall St., according to police. Initial information indicated a woman was trapped inside the home. Fire crews removed her from the residence and she was taken to a hospital.

Heather Hall, a resident of the home, said Thursday that smoke from the fire destroyed all of her family’s belongings and everyone in the five-unit apartment building was displaced by the fire.

Hall, who lives in the second story with her fiancé and two sons, said she rescued her 3-month-old son from their apartment while her fiancé tried putting the fire out and knocked on doors to try to get everybody out as the fire spread. She said she and her family were OK, aside from the lingering effects from smoke inhalation.