TURLOCK – Three women were arrested for allegedly trying to kill a man on Tuesday by sparking a fire at an abandoned cheese factory.
Lanette Sullivan, 46, Wanda White, 45, and Erika Cardy, 24, were taken into custody on Wednesday on charges of arson and attempted murder for Tuesday night’s fire in Turlock. Police said the three women are considered transients.
According to the police, the women got into an altercation with a man on Tuesday evening near the defunct cheese factory, which has attracted homeless people looking for shelter. The verbal argument between the women and the victim escalated into a physical fight, authorities said.
The man climbed into the rafters to escape from the women and remained hidden there. Knowing he was in the rafters, the women set the building on fire. The man, who has not been identified, was able to get away and was not injured.
The fire was reported at 7:19 p.m. It took 29 firefighters from Turlock City and surrounding cities several hours to put out the flames that engulfed the 10,000-square-foot building. The damage to the building, which will be torn down, was estimated to be $5 million.
Police believe other people may have been involved in the fire or there may have been more witnesses they would like to talk to who were at the plant Tuesday night. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Frank Navarro at (209) 668-5550.
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