Whidbey woman accused of arson

A woman on North Whidbey was arrested on suspicion of arson Friday afternoon.

Coincidentally, the case was reported just hours after another house on North Whidbey was damaged by a suspected arson fire. Investigators of the blaze on North Evergreen Street, however, determined that they couldn’t determine the cause.

At about 3:40 p.m., a resident of Silver Lake Road reported that Holly Mitchell, 33, had tried to burn his house down with a burning oil lamp, according to the report by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

The man reported that Mitchell, a family member, had been upset and acting strangely all day. After asking her to leave, he looked out the window and saw her walking toward him, carrying an oil lamp with a six-inch flame.

He went outside and found her walking around the house, empty handed and swearing at him, the report states. Worried about what she did with the lamp, he checked the basement and found it sitting on the top of a shelf.

The flame had started a joist on fire, which the man was able to extinguish. The shelf was below his bedroom the report indicates.

Mitchell was arrested and appeared in court Monday, and the judge found probable cause to believe she committed arson in the first degree.