$10,000 reward being offered for information about serial arsonist in Cottonwood


Secret Witness of Shasta County, Inc. is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of what officials are calling a serial arsonist in Cottonwood that is targeting elderly people.

In the most recent fire, the Shasta County Sheriff's Office says an 86-year-old woman was found dead in her home after it caught fire early Sunday morning. The woman was positively identified Wednesday evening as 86-year-old Barcie Arlene Miller of Cottonwood.

That fatal fire was one of nine fires in the Cottonwood area that officials are calling suspicious. There have been two other fires in the area where elderly people narrowly escaped.

The first happened in early September when firefighters had to break down the door to an elderly woman's home to rescue her from the fire and the second happened just days later when a 98-year-old veteran lost his home and was able to get out just in time.

According to Cottonwood Fire Chief Bill Morgan, investigators believe the arsonist is striking between 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office is going to door to door in the area to see if they can get any more information about the suspicious fires.

Officials recommend all residents in the area of these fires utilize exterior lighting at night and if your property is equipped with video surveillance, ensure it is recording and operational.

If you or anyone you know, knows anything about these fires, please call the Shasta County Sheriff's Office at 530-245-6135.

To give your tip anonymously to Secret Witness, call 530-243-2319 or click here.

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