Detectives: Stolen mail used to start fire at Ruston home, alleged serial arsonist considered a suspect

We’re learning new details about a fire investigation in Ruston where Sarah Ramey is considered a suspect, according to court documents.

Ramey faces eight counts of arson among other charges and remains in custody on a $5 million bond.

Detectives and fire investigators believe a total of 20 fires in Tacoma and Ruston in January are arson.

"I don’t get the why, but yeah we’re sure it’s her," said Joan Ryan.

Ryan said the fire happened at her family’s home on North Shirley Street in the early morning hours of Jan. 20.

Tacoma detectives looking into possible link between suspected serial arsonist, deadly NYE fire

A suspected serial arsonist in Tacoma is now charged with multiple counts of arson, burglary and identity theft - and investigators are looking into a possible link to a deadly fire on New Year's Eve.

"It was really, really smoky. It was glowing red, and it was just a ton of smoke," said Ryan. "When my daughter came out, the pile of mail was still fully on fire, which is even scarier. It’s not an accident. It’s somebody trying to set your house on fire."

Ryan’s 82-year-old mother and daughter live in the home. Both of them were not injured, thankfully.

The most shocking part for the family is the fact that the alleged suspect is Ramey, who they had previously hired to do some yard work.

"We had her do yard work for us, and we treated her really well. I just feel like there’s no reason for her to have bad feelings for us," said Ryan. "She knew my mom was 82 and less than mobile. She knows my daughter has a brain tumor. She knew we had hard times, and we paid her really well. She had misfortune in her life… her husband or boyfriend had passed away and we gave her extra money that day because she was worried about rent."

Woman suspected in string of Tacoma arsons held on $3M bond

A 42-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with a string of arsons in Tacoma and is being held on $3 million bond.

According to court documents, two more arsons in Ruston are under investigation.

"It almost would’ve been better if it was a stranger, you know, and a random thing," said Ryan. "She only used organic stuff on the lawn, she would call me to remind me to water, she brought my mom flowers, so I was in denial until I saw the court papers and all the evidence they had, and it was just crushing."

Ryan said first responders initially thought it could’ve been a homeless person trying to light a fire to keep warm, but now Ramey is considered a suspect in this arson case.

The family has installed surveillance cameras and additional smoke detectors inside the home.

"It’s just this total state of paranoia now, daytime or nighttime. She was someone I counted as a nice person, one of the good guys, and now it’s like who do you trust at all," said Ryan. "Just kind of day-by-day hoping the feeling subsides a little bit, because right now it’s still just full on crazy. It’s just hard to relax."

Tacoma police investigate more than a dozen suspected arsons this week

Since Tuesday evening, there have been more than a suspicious fires in Tacoma and Ruston, and police said they are investigating them as arsons.

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