Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
39-YEAR-OLD WOMAN SENTENCED FOR ARSON AFTER SETTING SIX FIRES IN IRVINE
NEWPORT BEACH – A woman was sentenced today for setting six fires in the City of Irvine. Jana Marie Spires, 39, Irvine, pleaded guilty to a court offer to five felony counts of arson of another’s property and one felony count of arson of a structure. She was sentenced to five years in state prison stayed pending completion of five years formal probation. She must serve one year in jail, complete one year of a residential drug treatment program, and register as an arson registrant.
At approximately 9:00 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2011, Spires entered an Irvine apartment complex parking lot and approached a 2009 Mercedes, stuffed newspaper into the opening of the driver’s side door, and lit it on fire before fleeing the scene. The vehicle owner’s son noticed the damage to the car and told the victim, who called 911.
On Feb. 14, 2011, Spires lit a replica acrylic U.S. flag on fire while it was hanging in a flag holder on the side of an Irvine residential home garage and fled the scene. The owner of the home noticed the flag had been burned and contacted police.
Later that day, Spires placed a pack of cigarettes outside the corner of an Irvine home’s garage, lit it on fire, and fled the scene. The defendant caused the homeowner’s garage to catch on fire. As the victim exited her house from her garage, she saw the fire and called 911.
Late in the evening on April 2, 2011, Spires stuffed paper and ignited it on fire between the spare tire and license plate of a 2003 Hummer that was parked in a lot of an Irvine apartment complex. The defendant then approached a 2003 Infiniti that was parked with its windows rolled down a few inches alongside a curb of the same apartment complex. Spires set a second fire by igniting newspaper on the front seat. The defendant then fled the scene. A neighbor saw the Hummer fire and put it out with a garden hose before contacting police. Irvine Police Department (IPD) officers responded to the scene of the hummer fire and noticed the second car fire.
Late in the evening on May 21, 2011, Spires entered the playground of Springbrook Elementary School in Irvine. She lit pizza boxes on fire and fled the scene. A nearby IPD officer noticed the playground fire and observed the defendant leaving the scene. Upon further investigation by IPD, Spires was linked to the six fires and arrested at her apartment that was in the same neighborhood as the Springbrook Elementary playground fire.
Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.