Pinole police arrest woman on suspicion of arson

PINOLE (BCN) — Police arrested a woman today on suspicion of arson after she allegedly started a fire at a home in Pinole on Sunday that killed a dog and wounded a firefighter.

Police said they arrested Ruth Johnson, 48, of Pinole on suspicion of arson and animal cruelty.

On Sunday, at 10:50 p.m., officers responded to a report of a house fire in the 3600 block of Remuda Way, police said.

Officers arrived to find the house engulfed in flames with two occupants, who were home at the time of the fire, safely outside.

A pet dog, however, did not make it out and perished in the fire, police said.

All of the occupants of the surrounding houses were evacuated as a precaution but no other structures were damaged and police said everyone was able to return home safely.

One firefighter suffered a sprained ankle while he was battling the blaze, but did not require medical treatment or time off due to the injury, according to Acting Battalion Chief Chris Bloch.

Police said a joint investigation by the Contra Costa County Arson Unit and the Pinole Police Department determined that Johnson started the fire in one of the bedrooms following an argument with her brother.

Johnson was booked at the Martinez Detention Facility and is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail, according to police.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call Pinole police at (510) 724-8959.

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