Woman charged with arson after police say she doused her closet with gasoline and set it on fire

Published 1:52 pm Thursday, September 16, 2021

A Mississippi woman was charged with arson on Monday after she allegedly doused a closet in her house with gasoline and set it on fire.

Picayune police officers said the incident occurred on Monday at approximately 5:35 p.m. when officers were called to 117 Clark St., the home of 42-year-old Rachel Ann Dembinski. Police were called because other residents in the home reported Dembinski was trying to set items in the house on fire.

Officers trained in crisis intervention techniques arrived to quell the situation and later found the suspect in a bedroom that smelled of gasoline.

When the officer left the bedroom where he found Dembinski to speak with the homeowner, another person in the home who was in the bedroom with the suspect came out to tell the officer that Dembinski had set the closet on fire and left the home through the back.

After the officer ensured everyone left the home safely and called the Picayune Fire Department for assistance, he found a fire extinguisher and was able to put the fire out before it spread.

Dembinski was later found in a nearby business on North Beech Street where she was arrested. While preparing the suspect for transport to the county jail, officers located a small plastic bag containing a white powdery substance suspected to be crystal methamphetamine, the release states.

Dembinski was then booked into the county jail for arson and felony possession of a controlled substance, the release states.