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Woman arrested after suspicious fire at northeast Columbia home

UPDATE – 5:00 p.m.: Columbia police said they know who started a house fire on Mohawk Avenue near Ballenger Lane.

Officers arrested Tammy Nevels Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of first-degree arson. Court documents state that upon being booked into Boone County Jail, officers discovered what they believe to be PCP concealed in a bottle between Nevels’ buttocks. She attempted to throw the bottle and was restrained, where she then attempted to bite an officer.

Police said she set fire to her own home Monday night while a man in his 70s and a 16-year-old boy were inside.

Investigators believe Nevels started the fire on the bed and left the home. She was picked up when she returned just after noon Tuesday.

Nevels is in the Boone County jail on a bond to be set by the court.

ORIGINAL: Investigators now say a northeast Columbia house fire is suspicious.

It started in a bedroom a little after 10 p.m. Monday on Mohawk Avenue near Ballenger Lane.

Everyone got out ok. The suspicious fire caused about $50,000 in damage.

(This story was last updated at 8:18 a.m. Tuesday.)

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