LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – The 88-year-old woman accused of intentionally setting an east Las Vegas apartment on fire told police that she “doesn’t remember” the incident, a new arrest report reveals.

On March 18, the Clark County Fire Department received reports of a fire in an east valley apartment complex in the 6100 block of Judson Avenue. The person reporting told dispatchers that he observed “a fire coming from the residence” and saw two elderly women exit.

Arriving firefighters determined that the fire originated at two points: the living room rug and a pillow on the couch.

After the fire was extinguished, firefighters also located two elderly women inside a rear bedroom. One of the women was “unresponsive and not breathing,” while the second was responsive but “appeared confused,” according to the report. Firefighters pulled both women out of the building and began performing CPR on the unresponsive woman.

The woman was transported to University Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. The report notes that both victims are currently “intubated and in critical, but stable condition” with “minor burns and smoke inhalation.”

Investigators also made contact with the two women seen exiting the apartment, one of whom was identified as the suspect, 88-year-old Lurenz Lurenz.

One of the women told investigators the couch caught on fire, which she attempted to put out and alert the others before she was forced to leave the building. Lurenz told investigators that she was outside when the fire started but later claimed she was inside, and also blamed another woman for “flicking a cigarette butt at her.”

The report notes that Lurenz could be seen intentionally starting the fire on surveillance footage provided by the apartment complex. In the video, Lurenz can be seen with a piece of white paper that was on fire, setting the rug on fire, as well as a pillow on the couch.

Lurenz would later tell investigators she had been living in the apartment for approximately a year with three other elderly women and was placed there after a stay at the hospital. The report notes that Lurenz had been a cigarette smoker for the last 70 years, though she claimed the homeowner was withholding cigarettes from her.

On the morning of the fire, Lurenz said she saw the homeowner smoking a cigarette inside the house and asked for one since she “hadn’t had one in over three days.”

Lurenz claimed the woman declined to give her one, and instead flicked a cigarette bud at her, which burned her jacket. She said the lit cigarette then landed on the couch in the living room, and after she walked outside, “the windows of the home blew out.”

When confronted about the surveillance footage, she confirmed to investigators that she was the woman in the video but denied any knowledge of starting the fire.

She told investigators her smoking habit was similar to drug addiction, and that “when she doesn’t have cigarettes, she can go ‘crazy’.”

When asked if her lack of cigarettes and the homeowner’s refusal to provide them to her made her “go crazy,” Lurenz told officers that “it was possible, but she doesn’t remember.”

Investigators also asked Lurenz if she had any final questions for them, to which she asked if “someone could run to the store and buy her a pack of cigarettes.”

Lurenz is facing a charge of first-degree arson and three counts of attempted murder. She is due in court on Thursday, April 4 for a preliminary hearing.


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