Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News
The co-owner of the Sisters Antique Mall has been arrested on suspicion of arson. She told police after the fire that a man had doused her with gasoline before setting the building on fire.
The co-owner of a Saginaw antique shop that was destroyed by fire last month was charged Thursday with setting the blaze.
Deborah Kay Scott faces a charge of arson, a second-degree felony.
Scott, who owns the Sisters Antique Mall with her sister, told police after the fire that a man had entered her shop with a gas can, asked her about her grandson and then doused her with gasoline before setting the building on fire.
She then ran to a nearby business and called 911.
She was only able to offer a vague description of the attacker, police said.
According to police affidavits, a woman told detectives that Scott solicited her in January to help burn down the business. She said they met and discussed what was to happen at a local Walmart.
Police documents indicate the witness kept a shopping receipt from that meeting. Police obtained surveillance video that shows the two meeting and talking inside the Walmart.
Scott admitted purchasing five gallons of gasoline in Fort Worth the same day as the fire and kept it near the rear of the building beside a dumpster, police said. Detectives believe the same gas can was used in the arson, police said.
Scott claimed she planned to use the gasoline on some stumps behind the business, police said.
"Right now we're trying to figure out why," said Saginaw police officer Damon Ing. "That's the whole question, why? What's the motive?"
She had insurance policies on the building and the antiques inside, police said.
Other business owners said the antique shop was struggling financially and only attracted small lunch crowds -- not enough to sustain the business or cover the original investment costs of renovating the building.
"It sounds to me like there might have been some financial problems there," said Cathey Rogers, owner of a flower shop across the street.
Rogers said she initially felt sympathy for Scott but now feels betrayed.
"There's no way she could get any trust back here because she has hurt a lot of people," Rogers said.
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
Scott was quickly released on a $10,000 bond.
A man answering the door at her Saginaw home declined to talk to reporters. Scott's attorney also had no comment.
Scott's sister has not been charged in the case.
NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.