Woman Accused of Arson, Tries To Burn Hotel And Own Home
STILLWATER - Stillwater Police Officers say on May 19th, they were called to the Best Western Plus Cimarron Hotel & Suites for a report of a small fire in the parking lot.
A 911 caller and employee of the hotel said Darci Rae Heisler, 46, had been seen carrying around a gas can.
911 Caller: "There is a woman who set a gas can on fire outside, and she tried to do it inside but she is walking away right now."
Responding officers found a melted gas can in the parking lot of the hotel.
Authorities say Heisler confessed to using a lighter to set the fire. She was spotted inside the hotel prior to her arrest.
“She had originally been seen up on the second floor of that hotel carrying a gas can and playing with a lighter,” said Stillwater Police Captain Kyle Gibbs.
Officers discovered that Heisler had a connection to a previous fire within the city limits.
In November of 2017, Heisler’s own home was hit with significant fire damage.
The fire was originally ruled an accident, but the circumstances at the hotel appeared to be extremely similar to the first investigation.
“She had moved two gas cans into the house, and at the time stated that she had accidentally tripped over one that was near a burning candle and that set the house on fire,” said Captain Gibbs.
According to court documents, Heisler was found inside of the home after the fire.
An officer reported that she barricaded herself in an upstairs bedroom and was found with a lighter in her hand.
In the affidavit the officer says, “I asked why she was holding a lighter and she stated she was about to light a cigarette. I did not observe any cigarettes or packs of cigarettes anywhere around her at the time. The victim’s sister looked at me and stated ‘she doesn’t smoke.'”
However, police did report finding cigarettes on Heisler.
Heisler has now been charged for arson regarding both fires.
The statute of limitations has not expired with respect to the initial investigation.
In both cases, records state Heisler had "a gas can and lighter."
Officers say it is unclear what brought Heisler to the Best Western, and could not confirm if she was a guest.
Heisler’s affidavit reports she is homeless.
She now faces a combined maximum sentence of 42 in prison and a $30,000 fine.