Woman convicted of starting Vacaville fire

By From page A4 | January 09, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A Vacaville woman who sparked a grass fire in a field behind a Vacaville auto repair shop was found guilty Wednesday of a felony arson charge.

Danielle P. Palmer, 27, did not take the witness stand during her jury trial, which centered around the testimony of the Vacaville police officer who first spotted Palmer at the scene of the fire off Allison Court on the evening of Aug. 7, 2013.

Officer Frank Piro testified that he saw Palmer standing at the edge of the fire, staring into the flames, which he described as odd. Piro said Palmer told him she might have accidentally started the fire with a cigarette and that she had just taken a taxi to get some food at a fast food place on nearby Monte Vista Avenue.

Piro said he did not believe Palmer had walked from the restaurant, gone behind the auto shop and climbed over a fence to smoke a cigarette. When he shared his suspicions with Palmer, he said she admitted to deliberately setting fire to the vacant field.

Palmer told Piro she had been feeling stressed and overwhelmed and that watching the flames was therapeutic and helped her relax, he said.

Palmer, who has been in jail since her arrest at the charred field, will remain locked up until she is sentenced Feb. 6.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

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