Medford woman arrested as suspected serial arsonist

, Posted: Fri, July 25 2014 at 9:32 AM, Updated: Mon, July 28 2014 at 3:37 PM

Medford woman arrested as suspected serial arsonist

Update (7/28 3:30pm) Medford Police say detectives were able to determine that Debra Johns was responsible for the small fire in the women's bathroom of the Jackson County Jail lobby on July 24th. Johns has been charged with an additional count of Arson in the 1st Degree and remains a suspect in several of the other unsolved arsons.


Medford, Ore. -- Medford Police have named 57 year old Debra Irene Johns as the suspected serial arsonist. Johns has been charged with her involvement in the arson fires at Beavertooth Oak and Hawthorne Park and is suspected in the numerous other fires as well.

Johns has been charged with 2nd Degree Arson (2 counts), Reckless Burning, 2nd Degree Attempted Burglary, Warrants (Failure to Appear - Endangering, Disorderly Conduct, Contempt of Court). Her bail has been set at $57,000.

On July 24th around 8 a.m.. MPD were dispatched to Hawthorne Park for a palm tree on fire. Upon arrival, police found another small fire set nearby. Both were determined to be intentionally set.

While searching the area, MPD located Johns on a bike path near the park and she attempted to flee on foot. Johns was arrested on unrelated outstanding warrants.

MPD also say Johns is a suspect in a fire that occurred in the women's bathroom in the lobby of the Jackson County Jail. The fire was determined to have been set early Thursday morning, prior to Johns being arrested. The fire caused minor damage and was not discovered until later in the day.

Stay with NBC5 for updates on this developing story.

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