Woman found with lighter fluid at West Knox County apartment fire

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Knoxville woman is facing charges after deputies say she used lighter fluid to start a West Knox County apartment fire that displaced 70 people.

Christina Waldman, 46, was charged with aggravated arson, aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest after Knox County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the fire at County Club Apartments.

Waldman was arraigned in jail Friday, Oct. 4 for three charges she’s facing. She is also set for a preliminary hearing on October 17.

Waldman’s bond is set at $253,500; $250,00 for aggravated arson, $3,000 for aggravated assault on an officer, and $500 for resisting arrest.

Rural Metro Fire Department crews responded to a report of an apartment fire Tuesday around 6 p.m. in the 8000 block of Country Club Way.

Upon arrival, officers learned of a female suspect who fled the scene. When officers approached a woman who matched the suspect’s description sitting on a curb near the apartment complex, Waldman stood up and extended her arm towards the officer with a lighter burning in her hand.

Waldman walked away as officers tried to approach, yelling at officers, “I don’t have to (expletive) talk to you!” Waldman pulled away from officers and continued to light the lighter. When officers drew their tasers, Waldman opened the pet carrier with her and presented a plastic bottle of lighter fluid.

A Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputy carries a dog out of an apartment in the Country Club Apartments complex as firefighters battle a fire there on Tuesday, Oct. 1, in West Knoxville.

Waldman did not comply with instructions to drop the bottle of lighter fluid and officers deployed their tasers.

Following the first five-second taser cycle, Waldman attempted to retrieve the bottle of lighter fluid that fell out of her hand. Officers deployed a second five-second Taser cycle. At the end of the cycle, Waldman complied with officer instruction to put her arms by her side but also threw away the lighter from her reach.

Waldman was taken into custody without further incident and transported to Turkey Creek Medical Center.

Christina Waldman, 46, . Source: Knox County Sheriff’s Office

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