Crime

Ceres woman arrested in fire that destroyed five Modesto businesses

A Ceres woman has been arrested on suspicion of setting the fire that destroyed five businesses on Carver Road early Saturday morning.

The three-alarm blaze gutted Jay’s Trophy Shop, Clawz nail salon, Shen’s Acupuncture, King Cuts barbershop and the Asian Market at the Neighborhood Shopping Center at Carver Road and Roseburg Avenue.

A woman was captured on video surveillance at the shopping center setting the fire behind Shen’s Acupuncture , said Lt. Dave Hutchinson, commander of the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigation Unit.

“It appears she was carrying some type of containers that likely contained ignitable liquid but we have to wait for lab results to come back to confirm that,” Hutchinson said.

He said the investigative unit worked collaboratively with Modesto Police to canvas the neighborhood, talk to witnesses and obtaining more video.

A witness identified the woman in the video as 42-year-old Dana Marie Woods.

Fire investigators learned Woods had been arrested on an assault with a deadly weapon warrant just a few hours before being identified.

A Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department deputy stopped her for being in possession of a shopping cart at 12:30 p.m. at Sisk Road and Old Village Lane in Salida, about six miles from the shopping center and nearly 12 hours after the fire started.

“MPD detectives went to the Public Safety Center where they interviewed her and she admitted involvement,” Hutchinson said.

Woods was rebooked on suspicion of arson and is being held on $200,000 bail.

Hutchinson said there is no known motive for the fire that caused at least $2 million in damage.

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