Woman allegedly set fire to apartment complex twice, records show

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A woman is behind bars after a fire at a Memphis apartment complex left two dozen families without a place to live.

It happened at Arbor Creek Trail apartments Wednesday. One resident said this will never be home again.

“It was scary for a person to do that has no conscious,” said Arbor Creek Trail apartments resident Tim Armstrong.

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Shaniqua Yates, 25, was arrested by the US Marshals and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Yates allegedly set fire to a three-story apartment complex on Sep. 14.

She’s charged with aggravated arson, records show.

According to an affidavit, the fire was intentionally set in a first-floor apartment that had already been involved in an arson earlier that day.

The blaze completely destroyed the apartments and displaced multiple families.

Yates had a prior disagreement with one of the victims, according to the affidavit.

The two had issues about selling hair products, an iPhone case, and money.

Multiple residents said they saw a woman inside a blue Nissan that was registered to Yates sitting in the parking lot near the victim’s apartment the night before the two fires, police said.

“I remember the car. There was no one else out here at the time. It was just me and her outside. It was a coincidence, you know? I asked my sister, ‘who is the car?’ She was just sitting in the car the night before for five hours,” Armstrong.

There are photos of the Nissan in the complex the morning and evening of both fires, records show.

A signed witness statement said a woman got out of the car, went into an apartment, and walked around the apartment with some kind of light minutes before the fire began.

A call to police reported a suspect who matched the description of Yates trying to get into the victim’s apartment before the fire started that night.

“It is a blessing that no one was injured in this fire,” said U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller. “There are reports that more than 20 residents were displaced by this senseless act. We hope this swift arrest can help to alleviate the turmoil that has been inflicted on the victims.”