The woman accused of starting the grass fire at the University of Colorado’s east campus had another prior arson case this year in Longmont.
Rain Hanuman, 31, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of second-degree arson, reckless endangerment and interfering with a school.
The fire started at about 10:17 a.m. Thursday near the Space Science building in the 3600 block of Discovery Drive.
The fire spread to about 6 acres and came within feet of the Space Science building, which had to be evacuated. Firefighters were able to reach containment before the fire reached the building, and no injuries were reported.
A witness on scene told police a woman was identified by a jogger as having started the fire. The witness said he then saw the woman on a log watching the fire grow, but said she ran when he went to confront her.
A separate witness was able to take a photo of the woman that he was able to show to police.
According to the affidavit, at 12:43 p.m. Boulder police did a welfare check on Hanuman, who matched the description of the suspect.
Police said they found Hanuman in a car along with burnt paper towels and a lighter in her bag, and she was taken into custody.
According to court records, this is the second time Hanuman has been accused of arson this year.
Hanuman was charged with fourth-degree arson and ultimately pleaded guilty to firing woods or prairie on Dec. 17 and sentenced to time served and 18 months of probation.
In that case, police said Hanuman on Sept. 20 set fire to a trash can at a Wendy’s at 1091 S Hover St. in Longmont before then setting fire to a nearby field.
Hanuman also has prior convictions for assault and harassment. She remains in custody at the Boulder County Jail on $10,000 bond and is set for a filing of charges on Wednesday.
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