ARLINGTON –The woman arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed a historic building downtown is being held on $500,000 bail and faces a charge of first-degree arson.
Teresa Martinez, 53, who also goes by the name Teresa Casados, appeared before a judge Oct. 28 in Snohomish County Superior Court via closed-circuit television.
Court documents state the fire at 2 Bits and More at 229 N. Olympic Ave. started after an argument between Martinez and her estranged husband. He reportedly was renting a non-permitted residence at the rear of the building.
The two were at the American Legion earlier that evening when they started arguing, court documents state. A few minutes after they left, she called her estranged husband and threatened to burn down his home.
Arlington detectives obtained evidence that confirmed the woman returned to the residence in a distinct vehicle just after 7 p.m. and left about five minutes later. The fire was discovered moments later, and the residence was engulfed in flames.
Records show that Martinez has had several brushes with the law, including domestic violence and assault. She has also failed to appear in court at least 32 times, court records say. She faces a charge of first-degree arson and domestic violence.
The blaze destroyed the 2 Bits And More building, causing an estimated $465,000 in damage. The storefront is now boarded up. No one was injured in the fire, but as many as 15 residents of adjacent apartments were displaced, with half of them provided temporary housing.
A benefit fundraiser will be held at Krosswalk Pub in Arlington on Nov. 12 to help owner Dawn Ambler of 2 Bits And More, and her vendors, get back on their feet. A silent auction will run from 3-8 p.m. A taco feed starts at 4 p.m. A page has been set up for the benefit at http://www.facebook.com/2BitsBenefitPage.