Accused Arsonist Could See 21 Years in Jail
Jenae Collins, 41, is charged with arson and reckless endangerment
ANCHORAGE – Jenae Collins could see 21 years behind bars for allegedly starting the Thursday morning fire that left 45 people homeless.
Saturday afternoon the 41-year-old, dressed in a blue jump suit with shackles around her wrists, stepped up to the podium in Anchorage Jail Court. Collins is charged with arson and reckless endangerment.
According to charging documents, Collins “intentionally” started a fire at the Calais Arms building off of Eureka Street, which prosecutors said placed others in danger.
The court documents state Collins lit an article of clothing on fire inside the first floor apartment. She then put the clothing into a trash can and covered it with a cardboard box.
Collins told KTVA Thursday, shortly after the fire, that she was watching television when she began seeing flames.
The fire eventually spread to the attic, burned the entire roof and the south face of the building. One person called 911 and said they had no way out of the apartment, according to court documents. No one died, but two people were sent to the hospital and two police officers were also treated for injuries.
Several pets died in the blaze.
Assistant District Attorney Michal Stryszak said he believes that on top of a long list of Alaska charges that include multiple DUI and domestic violence offenses, Collins also has charges pending in Nevada.
Collins is being held on a $200,000 appearance bond and a $100,000 performance bond. If Collins is released, she is prohibited from seeing someone with the initials J.M., who Strysak said gave the information that lead to Collins arrest.
She lived in the 24-unit building with boyfriend John MacClarence at the time of the fire, according to fire spokesperson Al Tamagni.
She is expected back in court January 8, at 2 p.m.