Police: Woman tries to set Roseburg DHS lobby on fire

Police said she used an aerosol and lighter to try to light several surfaces on fire.

Posted: May 3, 2018 5:16 PM
Updated: May 3, 2018 7:39 PM

ROSEBURG, OR. -- A Myrtle Creek woman is in jail after allegedly trying to set the Department of Human Services lobby in Roseburg on fire.

DHS Branch Operations Manager Mike Mahler said he was called to the lobby when it was reported that 20-year-old Destiny Hardesty was setting surfaces on fire.

Police said she was allegedly using a can of AXE body spray and a lighter to try to set fire to chairs, blinds, and pictures on the wall.

Mahler said it was unlike anything he’s experienced before.

“It was. When I heard about the incident it was a little surprising. It’s not every day that you have somebody come in and try to light aerosol products on fire in your office. And the progression went a little further than that, with some lines and some other things, so.”

Richard Skinner and his wife were in the lobby when this was happening, trying to become foster parents.

Skinner said he saw her lighting these things on fire and removed the lighter from her hand.

She then dumped out her purse, and Skinner says black powder fell on the ground.

Not knowing what it was, he and another bystander jumped on her to keep her from lighting it on fire.

Mahler said he’s glad these two men jumped in to stop the incident, and they’ll be working with state and local safety coordinators to make sure DHS responded appropriately.

“We’ll review the incident with both of those groups, and make sure there’s nothing we could do differently, or look for ways to improve that. We’re always looking to improve the safety of our staff and our clients that come in.”

Hardesty has been booked in the Douglas County Jail on charges of attempted arson and disorderly conduct.

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