Jana Marie Spires, a 39-year-old Irvine resident, convicted serial arsonist and previous Weekly Ugly Police Mugshot of the Week model, has been sentenced to a year in jail, a year in a residential drug treatment program and registration as an arsonist for a series of fires she set beginning in the summer of 2010. Spires pleaded guilty to five felony counts of arson of another's property and one felony count of arson of a structure. Five years in state prison will be stayed if she completes her sentencing requirements.
Her first fires were small and set weeks apart, but they alarmed
police because they were so close to buildings. Vehicles, the contents
of trash cans and items in a garage are among what was set ablaze.
Damage ranged from the minor to total losses.
most serious blazes were: a Jan. 23 vehicle fire from newspaper stuffed in the side
door of a 2009 Mercedes-Benz parked at an Irvine apartment complex; a Feb. 14 acrylic U.S. flag set on fire at the side of an
Irvine home; a Feb. 14 garage fire at a different Irvine home, where a
pack of cigarettes was torched; an April 2 vehicle fire started by paper stuffed between the spare tire
and license plate of a 2003 Hummer parked at an Irvine apartment
complex, followed by the torching of a 2003
Infiniti when a burning newspaper was dropped in an open window.
Investigators not only discovered a pattern to the fires,
but DNA evidence left at three locations pointed to the arsonist being a
woman, according to Irvine police investigators, who deployed strategic surveillance locations. Just
after 8 a.m. on May 21, Spires was arrested at Springbook
Elementary School, which is in Irvine's Woodbridge area and where a stack of
pizza boxes had been set on fire next to the administration building.
Detectives were able to put out the fire before the building sustained
At the time of her arrest, Spires already had assault with a deadly weapon and petty
theft on her rap sheet.