Walla Walla family dispute leads to arson charges and residential fire

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. — A family dispute led to arson charges after a 25-year-old woman allegedly started a fire in her father’s home and attempted to flee the scene while fire crews combatted the flames.

According to a press release issued by Sgt. Gunner Fulmer of the Walla Walla Police Department, officers were called to the 1200-block of Whitman St to assist fire crews who determined that the source of the structure fire at a two-story home appeared suspicious.

When they arrived, officers were informed by the resident of the home that a family member purposefully lit the fire upstairs while the residence was occupied. Walla Walla officers located the suspect, who has since been identified as Hannah Van Donge, as she attempted to flee the area by hopping over a backyard fence.

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The suspect was taken into custody without incident and booked into the county jail for charges of arson to the first degree. Local fire officials say that roughly $18,000 in damages were accrued in the home which was not properly equipped with smoke alarms/detectors.

No one was hurt during the incident, but the home did sustain smoke and fire damage.

The criminal aspect of this instance was not reported by the Walla Walla Fire Department in its press release this morning. To read more about the fire itself and how responding fire crews contained the situation within 10 minutes, click here to read our previous story.

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