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Virginia woman charged with arson is being held in Becker County

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Virginia woman charged with arson is being held in Becker County
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

A Virginia woman was charged Thursday with starting a fire that caused more than $300,000 in damages April 4 to a Virginia business.

Tiffany Lynn Jenner, 21, is charged with two felony counts: one of arson and one of negligent fires. She is in custody in Becker County, on charges of failing to carry proof of auto insurance and failing to register a motor vehicle.

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The fire at 621 Ninth St. N. was reported shortly before 1 a.m. April 4. By then the rear of the building, which contained Nelson-Collie Electric and a barbershop, was on fire. Detectives on the scene determined the cause of the fire was arson, based on the time it occurred and the fact that the fire started in a garbage container outside the building.

According to the criminal complaint, Jenner was questioned Monday after authorities received a call from a tipster who stated that Jenner had said that "she had set cardboard on fire in one of the garbage containers and that it got out of control."

According to the complaint, Jenner said that she had left a barbecue at her brother's home with another person to walk to some bars downtown.

"Jenner stated that she was intoxicated and they walked by the garbage can that was near the building that burned and she started a piece of cardboard on fire with a lighter," the complaint said. Jenner's companion yelled at her and put out the fire.

"Jenner stated that she then reached farther down in the garbage can to start another piece of cardboard on fire," the complaint said. Her companion yelled at her again and they left the area.

Jenner said she was walking in the area the next morning and saw the burned building.

"Jenner stated that when she saw this she turned completely white," the complaint said. "Jenner stated that at that moment she knew she was responsible for the fire."

A search of St. Louis County court records found past charges of possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia, assault, underage consumption and traffic offenses.

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