Crime

Authorities are investigating the blaze that destroyed a New Haven home Sunday as arson.

According to New Haven Police Chief Dan Terry, Officer Jacki Brown was patrolling on Thurman Street at 9:30 p.m. Sunday when she saw the blaze coming from the first level of a two-story home located at 212 Thurman St.

When she got close to the home, windows were breaking from the heat. Brown and Officer Justin Gevers began a preliminary search outside the home when Gevers heard screams from a woman coming from the basement, Terry said.

Gevers moved items piled up next to the outside door leading to the basement, opened the door and pulled the female homeowner, Tabatha R. Jaegers, 40, and two dogs out of the burning building.

Terry said that the woman stated “her baby” was still in the home and Gevers went back into the basement and attempted to go up the stairs to the ground level of the home but had to leave the home due to the amount of smoke. The woman was referring to a third dog which died in the blaze, according to Terry.

Jaegers’ husband and daughter were in Washington when the fire occurred. There was nobody else in the home, police said.

According to Franklin County Arson Investigator Jim Schuhmacher, the fire began on the first floor of the home in the kitchen. He said New Haven-Berger, Washington and Union fire crews responded to the scene and the Beaufort-Leslie Fire Protection District sent a pumper truck that was on standby in New Haven.

The fire was knocked down before 10:30 p.m., Schuhmacher said. He added that the house was a “total loss.”

Assault Charge

Jaegers has not been charged in connection to the fire; however, Terry confirmed that she is the same woman who allegedly assaulted a Washington woman earlier that Sunday in a random act of violence.

According to a probable cause statement filed by Washington police in the Franklin County Prosecutors office, Jaegers drove her car to a home in the 2300 block of East Fifth Street at 2:32 p.m., parked in the front yard of the home and assaulted a woman who was on the porch.

The victim fought back and held Jaegers to the ground until help arrived. The victim sustained several cuts and abrasions to her neck, face, arms, hands and knees.

Jaegers and the victim do not know each other, police said.

Jaegers was arrested Monday on a charge of third-degree felony assault and is being held in the Franklin County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

She was charged Jan. 21 in Osage County with two charges of felony drug possession and unlawful possession of a firearm.