Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Public safety

Tenant charged with setting fire inside Spring Hill apartment

SPRING HILL — Facing eviction, April Evans offered an ominous warning to her landlord, authorities say: You'd better have insurance on your building.

On Monday, Evans, 43, set a fire inside her apartment, in a four-unit building in the 4000 block of Jason Road, according to a news release from the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Rick Swain arrived at the apartment Monday to serve an eviction notice on Evans and found the door unsecured, the release said.

He smelled something and saw smoke in the apartment. Firefighters arrived and found several smoldering rags in a bathroom sink.

Detectives say Evans was seen inside the apartment shortly before Swain arrived and that she had made statements to neighbors and the property owner about setting the building on fire.

She also had left messages on the owner's phone warning him about having insurance. Investigators noted that smoke detectors had been ripped from the ceiling.

Detectives interviewed Evans on Tuesday and say she admitted that she had set fire to paper in the apartment and then extinguished the flames with rags.

She said she waited for the fire to go out before she left the apartment.

Evans was charged with first-degree arson, a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and was being held without bail Wednesday in the Hernando County Detention Center.

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