WAUSAU — A 30-year-old Wausau woman is facing felony charges after she allegedly tried to start a fire inside an apartment from which she was being evicted.
Tranisha D. Clark appeared Wednesday in Marathon County Circuit Court, where she is charged with attempted arson and criminal damage to property in connection with an Oct. 2 fire at her west side apartment. She is being held on a $20,000 cash bond.
Police were called just before midnight Oct. 2 to the 4100 block of Stewart Avenue for a report of heavy smoke pouring from an apartment inside the complex. Rescue crews forced their way inside the locked door and saw plenty of smoke — but no fire, according to the police report. A threatening message naming the apartment property manager was allegedly scrawled on the wall.
The smoke was traced to the stove, which had been set to 500 degrees, police said. Inside the stove were mounds of cigarette butts and food items that appeared to have been thrown inside before the oven was turned on, according to police.
In addition to heavy smoke damage, the apartment saw significant water damage. Police say the bathroom drains appear to have been intentionally clogged and water was left running and water had run through the apartment, buckling the floor in the living room.
The fire call wasn’t the first stop police made to the apartment in recent days. In the hours leading up to the alleged attempted arson, police visited the apartment twice related to a domestic violence call in which Clark’s boyfriend, Kenneth McMillan, was taken into custody. The apartment is also the site of an alleged armed robbery reported Sept. 27, when Herbert “Montana” Johnson reportedly walked into Clark’s apartment, held a handgun to a man’s head and stole $400 cash.
The property manager whose name was scribbled on the wall told police Clark had been evicted from the apartment and was due to move out the following day. Clark also has a previous felony arson conviction in Louisiana from March 2015, according to court filings.
A review hearing is set for Friday.