by: Vivian Chow
Posted: / Updated:
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A woman arrested for setting the Sears Building in Salt Lake City on fire has been charged for setting a house on fire back in September 2020.
According to Salt Lake City Police, the woman is 38-year-old Mary Joyce Lacey.
Lacey has been charged with aggravated arson, which is a first-degree felony. Authorities say Lacey, who is a transient, was found lighting fires throughout a home and detached garage at 731 W. 1300 S.
The homeowners first discovered the woman trespassing on their property and contacted the police.
The owner witnessed flames burning about four feet high inside the home at the time. After containing the blaze, crews discovered signs of habitation inside the home including cigarette butts, sleeping materials, drink cans and feces within a toilet.
The detached garage held personal belongings and sleeping-related items.
Lacey was most recently arrested back in November 2021 for allegedly setting fire to a Sears building in Salt Lake City.
Police say a motorist driving by the vacant store on State Street noticed the north doors on fire. When an officer arrived, they say they spotted the boarded-up doors engulfed in flames.
Police say Lacey admitted to starting the flames with a lighter. Fire crews had to break down doors to stop the flames. Officials estimate Lacey caused around $5,000 in total damage.