A man at 1114 block of Gum Street contacted Conway Police Department on Friday after a woman whom he allowed into his home to use the bathroom allegedly walked through the house, setting various items on fire.
Upon arriving at the residence, the man showed officers three items that had been burned to varying degrees, including a bath towel, a blanket and a box containing envelopes. The man identified the woman, who he said set the items on fire “in an attempt to burn the house down.”
The man said the woman arrived at his home around 4 a.m., asking to use his bathroom. The man said he has had problems with the woman “on multiple occasions,” in the past, and has had criminal trespass warnings issued to her “several times.”
An officer asked the man why he allowed her into the home, to which the man reportedly replied, “Don’t ask me that.” The man said he did not have a good reason as to why he allowed her in and did not know why, given their history.
According to the man, the woman was in the bathroom “for a few minutes,” before exiting and wandering to other areas of the home. The man said he was sitting on the couch and saw the woman walking through the home, but did nothing to stop her, saying again that he “did not know why” he allowed her to walk around the home.
The man said the woman left “laughing” after only a few minutes, though he said he “did not think anything of it,” at the time. A few minutes later, he said, he began to smell smoke.
The man said he rose from the couch to investigate and discovered that a blanket that he had used to cover the window in his bedroom was on fire. The man said he immediately grabbed it and took it outside, putting out the flames before returning to the bedroom to pour water on the smoldering carpet.
The man said he still smelled smoke when he noticed that a bath towel hanging on a towel rack in his bathroom was on fire. The man took the towel outside and attempted to stomp it out. An officer noted the towel was almost “completely burned up.”
The man returned to his house once again to discover a box of envelopes smoldering in a guest bedroom. He also took that outside and put it out.
Damage was discovered at the floor beneath the window. No damage was discovered where the towel had been hanging, nor where the box of envelopes had been sitting.
The man said the woman walked south on Gum Street after leaving the home. He also said that “as far as he knows,” the woman is homeless.
An officer searched the area but could not locate the woman. The man was advised of the warrant process and was told that since the amount of damage was less than $500, the crime would be a misdemeanor, he would be responsible for seeking a warrant against the woman.
He was also “strongly urged,” to not allow the woman back into the home and to contact police if she returned.
(Megan Reynolds is a staff writer and can be reached at 505-1277 or email@example.com. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net)