Arson Arrest: Couple Accused of Starting Fires In Yosemite Lakes Park
Yosemite Lakes Park —
A Yosemite Lakes Park couple is facing charges on suspicion of arson. Firefighters say the 40-year old Kenneth Jackson and 46-year old Allison Waterman are responsible for dozens of fires in the area.
The fires terrified people in the Yosemite Lakes Park area for weeks. The couple's neighbors are stunned that the people now accused of setting all those fires lived right next door.
"It was a real tight knit web and it shocked us to see it was our neighbor," says Bob Collins.
Collins lives down the street from Jackson and Waterman. The couple is accused of starting dozens of fires in the area near their home.
"It just started one, two, three, four, five, six," says Collins, "All behind our house."
Collins says he did not know the couple very well. He never met Jackson and he says he only spoke with Waterman once. The conversation was right after the fires started and it was a pretty strange.
"She said if I were them I would do this to them," says Collins, "I said I should stay away from you."
Jack Valpey says he does know the couple and met them when they first moved to the neighborhood a few years ago.
"I was amazed," says Valpey, "I was flabbergasted last night when they had them in handcuffs."
Both men say they never suspected their own neighbor and after six weeks of worrying that their homes might go up in flames, both Collins and Valpey say they're relieved that someone is finally behind bars.
"I'm real happy that it's over with we hope," says Valpey, "We've been here almost 20 years and we've never had this problem before."
Both Jackson and Waterman were booked into the Madera County Jail. Waterman has bailed out and Jackson is still behind bars.