News » True Crime

To Build A Fire


How hard can it really be to start a fire at a gas station? All the basics are there: Gas, you, a lighter. Shoot, look at what happened to Zoolander's buddies. Getting a good little blaze going should be pretty straightforward.

Apparently, it's rougher than doing that obscure frontier stick thing in a pile of wet moss, because Kathryn Allen Steers couldn't make it work in the wee hours of Monday.

Police picked up Steers, 21, at 4:30 a.m. Monday morning after a clerk at a Broadway Avenue Shell station called to report a fire that appeared to be deliberately set. Fortunately for the clerk, the fire proceeded to burn itself out.

How, we ask, can this be?

Never mind. We're waiting for the court date because, apparently, Steers had it in for somebody. That's what the Boise Police Department thinks, anyhow.

Steers was arrested on felony charges of third-degree arson. The arrest takes into account the deliberate nature of the act and the aggravating part of the charge might have something to do with the fact that if Steers were an accomplished firebug, she might have caused a fireball that would have lit up Broadway like never before.

"Obviously, setting a fire at a gas station is a very serious act," said BPD's Hightower, a master of the understatement. "The location of the fire could have been huge."

We'll wait for the court proceedings to find out more, but suffice it to say that officers, aided by evidence they found on scene, were able to trace the fire's cause to Steers and able to deduce that it was deliberate.

"It looks like this wasn't an accident," said Hightower.

Evidence now remaining of the crime is primarily limited to some charred concrete.