Ebony Hurndon

A Tucson woman was arrested early this morning after setting her cat on fire and attempting to stab a Tucson fire captain in the chest when he tried to get her to leave her apartment, officials say.

Tucson police and firefighters went to an apartment complex in the 4300 block of East 29th Street at about 2:30 a.m. for reports of an apartment fire, said Sgt. Pete Dugan, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.

The 911 caller reported seeing smoke coming from a downstairs unit, and as the fire captain and others approached the smokey apartment, a woman who lives there lunged at the captain with a knife, striking him in the chest, Tucson Fire Department spokesman Capt. Andrew Skaggs, said in a news release.

The knife could not penetrate the firefighter’s thick jacket and he escaped, Skaggs said.

The woman- who was naked- stayed in the doorway threatening to stab anyone who tried to come in to the apartment, but with the door now open, firefighters were able to see a small fire on top of the stove in the apartment's kitchen, Skaggs said.

Tucson police approached the woman and tried to get her to drop the knife, eventually using a Taser to subdue her, Dugan said.

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When firefighters and police were able to enter the apartment, they saw that the fire was coming from a cat that was on top of the ignited stovetop, Dugan said.

The woman, identified as 41-year-old Ebony Hurndon, was booked into the Pima County jail in connection with charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, arson of an occupied structure and animal cruelty, Dugan said.

The cat did not survive.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191


I'm a watchdog reporter covering local government, the University of Arizona and sports investigations.