Rockford woman charged with arson in Auburn Court apartment fire

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — 51-year-old Michelle Cairns has been charged with setting fire to her boyfriend’s apartment building on Auburn Court on Tuesday.

First responders were called to the scene of an apartment fire near the 1200 block of Auburn Court in Rockford just after 8 p.m. Tuesday. Fire and smoke was found coming from the second floor.

According to Rockford Police, Cairns’ boyfriend told investigators that she was “acting crazy” in the front room and when he went to check on her, she had set a burning baseball hat in the bathtub.

After he put it out, he claimed Cairns went around the apartment with a lighter, setting a curtain on fire in the front room, a picture frame on the kitchen table on fire, and clothing in the front closet, according to the criminal complaint.

Police say she admitted to officers on the scene that she had started the fires.

One adult female was treated on the scene and taken to a local hospital for smoke inhalation.

One pet did die in the fire.

Cairns has been charged with Aggravated Arson while Knowing People Are Present and was taken for a psychological evaluation.

She is being held at the Winnebago County Jail on a $2,500 bond.


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