The Latest: 10K Reward Offered After Elderly Woman Dies In Arson Fire

A reward of $10,000 is offered in hopes of capturing a homicidal serial arsonist that has Cottonwood residents on edge. Cottonwood Firefighters responded at 4:40AM Sunday morning to a house fire at 3320 Willow Street. The elderly woman who resided there was found dead inside the burning house. Her family has been notified and an autopsy was performed Wednesday by the Shasta County Coroner’s Office. They were able to confirm the identity of the victim, but her name has not yet been made public. Later Sunday morning, at 5:07AM, another structure fire was reported very nearby on Hickory Street. A shed in the backyard had been set on fire, and it was quickly extinguished. Both fires are suspicious and are being investigated as arson by Cottonwood Fire Protection District and the multi-agency Shasta County Arson Task Force. The Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit is also involved. The fires on Sunday are believed to be connected to as many as 7 other suspicious structure fires in the Cottonwood area over the past few months. Most of the fires have been set in the early morning hours at homes occupied by elderly residents. As the search for a suspect continues, Cottonwood residents are urged to remain alert and use exterior lighting around their homes. $10,000 is available for anonymous tips at 243-2319 or scsecretwitness.com.

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