Woman starts fire at group home after being denied cigarettes, police say

Investigators have charged a 55-year-old woman with arson after she was allegedly denied cigarettes.

The arrest affidavit for Francine Almond states fire crews were called to a group home along the 7300 block of Cameron Road around 10:10 p.m. Dec. 1. When crews arrived, they found the front door on fire with melted plastic signs attached. The owner of the group home told fire crews that Almond was the reason for the fire and that she could be found at the median on Cameron Road.

The fire investigator said in their affidavit that Almond attempted to run, but was stopped near a bus stop on Coronado Hills Drive. The affidavit notes Almond admitted to crews that she set the fire.

Almond allegedly told police she got angry after the owner told her they would not give her more cigarettes. The owner told police they told Almond to go outside and calm down, and then noticed the door on fire several minutes later. The affidavit states the owner put water on the fire and saw Almond walking away.

Upon further investigation, police brought Almond back to the group home where she described where and how she set the door on fire. Almond stated that she intentionally started the fire because she was angry and wanted to hurt herself.

The owner expressed that her main concern was that the other group home members who take medications for their altered mental status would not be able to get out of the building or get injured during the fire due to their impaired capacities.

Almond has been charged with first-degree felony arson, and is being held in the Travis County Jail on $25,000 bond.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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