Lake Stevens woman, whom teen rescued from fire, charged with arson

LAKE STEVENS — A teenager crawled into his neighbor’s burning mobile home and pulled her to safety despite her protests.

The woman told the boy to leave her alone but the 16-year-old knocked a gas can out of her hands and dragged the distraught woman outside. Other neighbors held onto the woman’s arms to keep her from going back in.

Prosecutors this week charged Gigi Hays with first-degree arson. They allege she started the fire last month that destroyed her Lake Stevens mobile home. Hays reportedly told a police officer that she didn’t want her husband to get the trailer in their divorce. She also told him and others that she wanted to die, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Francesca Yahyavi wrote in court papers.

Hays, 54, is scheduled to answer to the charge next month. Yahyavi is asking a judge to set bail at $500,000 and to order Hays not to have any contact with her estranged husband. The couple are in the middle of a volatile divorce. The deputy prosecutor also plans to ask that Hays regularly report to a mental health provider who is aware of the arson charge.

Hays was hospitalized for the injuries she sustained in the fire. She isn’t in custody.

The fire was reported around 1 a.m. Aug. 8 after neighbors heard two loud explosions coming from the mobile home. The 16-year-old neighbor ran outside and was told by another neighbor that someone was inside the burning trailer.

The front porch was collapsing so the teen ran to a side window. He saw a woman sitting on the floor, holding a gas can in her lap. He crawled into the house despite the heat and smoke. He pulled the woman outside.

Hays allegedly told a neighbor she used gas to ignite the fire.

Hours earlier Hays had asked her daughter to take her car and also gave the woman the key’s to her storage unit, court papers said.

Investigators with the county fire marshal’s office concluded that fires were set in the trailer and a detached garage.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dianahefley.

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