MISSOULA — A woman is accused of felony arson following a weekend fire on Scott Street in Missoula.
Crews were called to reports of a structure fire in the 1300 block of Scott Street at approximately 5 p.m. on Saturday and arrived to find a large tree, a structure, two sheds and a vehicle on fire.
Missoula Police Department spokesman Detective Lt. Eddie McLean says that while firefighters were battling the blaze, dispatchers received a call from a female claiming responsibility for the blaze.
The female refused to identify herself or answer any further questions and hung up. But McLean says dispatch told officers the phone number was associated with a female identified as Georgena Oldperson.
Officers were aware of Oldperson through prior law enforcement contacts, according to a news release.
An officer responding to the fire recognized Oldperson as she was walking on the Scott Street Bridge. McLean says another officer then located Oldperson on the south side of the bridge and could smell the odor of smoke while speaking with her.
She also had two cell phones in her possession and when the officer called the number used by the female claiming responsibility for the fire, it rang to one of the phones in Oldperson’s possession.
Oldperson was arrested, taken to the Missoula jail and charged with felony arson.
There were no injuries reported and although the value of the property damage was high, a precise estimate of the damage is yet to be determined. An investigation into the blaze is continuing.