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RFD: Woman arrested for burning down Avola Street home

Unique circumstances caused some delays for firefighters responding to a burning home in Redding on Sunday morning. It turned out to be an arson fire.

Posted: Feb 28, 2021 10:42 AM
Updated: Apr 5, 2021 12:18 PM

UPDATED 2:05 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021 – Redding Fire Department investigators have determined that the Sunday morning house fire on Avola Street in Redding was intentionally set.

According to a press release, investigators worked with the Redding Police Department to locate a suspect who they say admitted to setting the fire inside of the home’s garage.

33-year-old Tiffany Nicole Blair was arrested for arson and was booked into the Shasta County Jail.
The damage of the fire is estimated at $175,000, said investigators.

There were no activations of either fire sprinklers or smoke detectors at the incident, they added. The Redding Fire Department suggests that citizens install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside of each separate sleeping area. They suggest that these smoke alarms be installed on every level of your home.

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REDDING, Calif. – A home on Avola Street in Redding was destroyed Sunday morning after firefighters were delayed in their firefight due to “very unique circumstances,” in the words of Battalion Chief Mike Sawyer.

A structure fire was reported at the Avola Street home before 8:00 a.m., but Chief Sawyer said there were also related calls about someone at the home that needed mental health support and a report that gunshots had been heard.

Because of this situation, responders from the Redding Fire Department arrived but had to keep some distance initially, while the Redding Police Department showed up and made sure the home was clear, said Sawyer.

Chief Sawyer said the person who had been reported to be in some mental distress was not in the burning home but was at a relative’s house.

The delay caused the fire to become larger than it most likely would have been if responders could have fought the fire directly as soon as they arrived, according to Sawyer.

The house was deemed a total loss with the roof burned off and heavy smoke and fire damage throughout.

There are two investigators from the Redding Fire Department at the scene on Sunday morning working to determine the cause.

Chief Sawyer explained that the reported gunshots could possibly have been paint cans or other things in the garage blowing up, or even a propane tank. He said they will know more after their investigation is complete.

Other homes were considered threatened at one point, but none were damaged during the incident.

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Gusty north winds will keep fire danger elevated today, and the potential for showers and thunderstorms will return to the Sierra this afternoon. Sunny skies, dry weather, and a substantial warming trend are ahead in your late week and weekend forecast.
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