UPDATE: 3 teens accused in arson that critically injured woman

JFD responds to fire on Harrisburg Road, woman rescued

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro police have arrested three teens suspected in an arson that sent a Jonesboro woman to a Memphis hospital with critical injuries.

Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, Jonesboro fire and rescue crews responded to a house fire in the 2100-block of Harrisburg Road.

When they arrived, they found the house in flames and a woman, who has not been identified, unconscious inside.

Fire crews pulled the woman out of the burning residence and performed CPR on her until an ambulance could take her to a local hospital. She was later flown to Regional One Health in Memphis. As of Friday, Oct. 12, she remains in critical condition.

Jonesboro Fire Marshall Jason Wills told Region 8 News on Wednesday the fire was ruled an arson.

Investigators with the Fire Marshall’s Division noticed signs of forced entry into the home, according to a news release from the Jonesboro Fire Department. Inside, they found the home had been ransacked and vandalized.

The day after the fire, investigators saw three juveniles walking around in the area during school hours and contacted them.

“They found them to be in possession of several firearms and other items which led them [investigators] to believe there was a recent theft,” Friday’s news release stated.

The fire marshals then contacted the Jonesboro Police Department which learned that there had been a burglary. Detectives, according to the release, found evidence that tied the three juvenile suspects to the fire.

Police arrested the three juveniles, including 17-year-old Gabriel Walton who will be tried as an adult. He’s currently being held on a $250,000 bond on suspicion of arson, burglary and theft. The other two suspects have been remanded to the custody of the juvenile department.

House on Harrisburg Road caught fire. (Source: KAIT-TV)
House on Harrisburg Road caught fire. (Source: KAIT-TV) ((Source: KAIT-TV))

Battalion Chief Brett Winstead said Monday they found flames coming from the house when they arrived.

“I arrived on scene first,” Battalion Chief Winstead said. "We had heavy fire showing from the front of the structure and heavy smoke throughout.”

Winstead said when he and fellow firefighters arrived a bystander told them someone might be inside.

They immediately leaped into action.

“We initiated an all hands rescue,” Winstead said. “First engine made an attack. Other crews went in and did a search. We did pull one person out. She’s been sent to the hospital. We did two more searches and found nothing.”

Winstead said the woman they saved was unconscious when they pulled her out.

“The fire crews did CPR,” Winstead said. “Ambulance arrived on scene and took over care from there. They then took her to the hospital.”

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