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Police Arrest Suspected Arsonist

debra-irene-johnsMEDFORD, Ore. — Medford Police have arrested Debra Irene Johns, who they believe is responsible for the multiple suspicious fires in Medford that began on June 25th.

Medford Police believe Johns to be connected to 23 fires in downtown Medford in the past month, most recently in the Jackson County Jail bathroom on Wednesday morning.

The suspect is no stranger to police; in fact, while investigating arsons this week, police saw the woman, knew who she was immediately, and knew she was wanted on unrelated charges.

Debrah Johns is being charged with starting 2 fires, but investigators believe she is also the person behind 21 other fires, including that huge warehouse fire that burned on Fir Street about a month ago, but it was the palm tree that burned in Hawthorne Park on Thursday morning that first led police to Johns.

Police say she was nearby at the time they responded and they knew she was wanted on unrelated warrants, for which they took her into custody. At that time, they discovered that a small fire had been set earlier in the morning in a bathroom in the jail that the public has access to.

Police are not revealing how they connected Johns to that fire, but she is now charged with several counts for both the bathroom fire and palm tree fire. The investigation into the remaining 21 arsons is on-going, but investigators seem confident that with this arrest, downtown Medford won’t see additional arsons at the same rate.

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