Apartment fire an act of arson

YUMA, Ariz. – A fire over the weekend destroyed an apartment, firefighters now believe it may have been an act of arson.

The Yuma Fire Department (YFD) received the call shortly after 10:30 p.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived to the apartment located on Third Street and Seventh Avenue, they saw smoke coming from the building and were told someone was inside the apartment.

Mike Erfert with the YFD says firefighters forced their way in, “They were able to search and find there was nobody in the apartment and were able to quickly knock down the fire that they found in the bedroom.”

No one was harmed and the fire did not spread.

During the investigation, fire officials deducted that the fire started in the bedroom and was an act of arson.

Erfert said, “There were indications to a forced entry on the property and other things that the investigators were able to determine that led them to believe that the fire was intentionally set.”

In the case of an arson, YFD hands the case over to the Yuma Police Department (YPD) for a full investigation. Police have no suspects but continue the search for the arsonist.

Sergeant Lori Franklin with YPD says, “We’ll start going through the area trying to talk to any witnesses. Anybody who may have seen anybody throughout that time and try and make contact with them and figure out who was in the area.”

Neighbors of the Seventh Avenue Cottages say it was a 70-year-old woman staying in the apartment. They say she had been living there for 16 years.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call YPD at (928) 373-4700 or 78-Crime to remain anonymous.

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