Suspect arrested for downtown Sumner fire that destroyed businesses

Nov 10, 2022, 8:50 AM | Updated: 10:14 am


Photo by Sam Campbell

Police have arrested a woman they suspect started the three-alarm fire that destroyed multiple businesses on Sumner’s Main Street.

The update came as a release on the city’s website two weeks after the initial blaze, which sent crews from dozens of fire agencies to downtown Sumner around 3 a.m. October 28.

3-alarm fire shuts down Sumner downtown

The blaze closed down Main Street from Fryar Avenue to Wood Avenue damaging several businesses including the Whispering Hills Market, Stuck Junction Saloon & The Attic venue. It also impacted side streets.

According to a report from the City of Sumner, several businesses shared surveillance videos with authorities the day after the fire. Police said several people were seen in the footage but recognized one woman in her 20s they say has had multiple recent interactions with law enforcement.

In an interview with authorities, police said she initially admitted to having been around the area at a “warming fire.” A week later on November 3, she reportedly told police she started the fire on purpose to have responders “do their jobs.”

Sumner Police have not identified the woman and did not specify what the recent interactions were, but officers booked her into Pierce County Jail Oct. 29 on “unrelated warrants.” The prosecutor’s office is expected to make a decision soon on whether the woman should also be charged with arson.

Authorities are still investigating whether the other people in the surveillance videos are related to the fire.

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