Fairbanks woman charged with arson in fire that destroyed apartment building

A Fairbanks woman faces arson charges in a fire that destroyed an apartment building after she was evicted earlier this year.

Sherri Wein, 50, was charged with first-degree arson, third-degree criminal mischief, first-degree criminal trespass and two counts of reckless endangerment in the Friday fire authorities say she started while people were still inside the building.

The Fairbanks Fire Department was called to the downtown apartment building on Friday morning, according to Alaska State Troopers. A bystander noticed the fire and alerted the two people inside, who were able to safely escape, troopers said. The building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

Surveillance footage from a doorbell camera showed Wein entering the property with a fuel can, according to a sworn affidavit written by Deputy Fire Marshal Kyle Carrington. Wein had been evicted from an apartment there in February and the property owner told investigators Wein had threatened her several days before the blaze.

The two tenants told investigators they had moved out of the apartment earlier this year because of Wein’s erratic behavior, the affidavit said. They had recently returned to the building after learning Wein had been evicted, they told investigators.

Wein was later located and told authorities she started the fire, the affidavit said.

She told investigators she had planned to set the building on fire for several days, according to the affidavit.

Wein was in custody Tuesday at the Fairbanks Correctional Center.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.