Nikolaevsk resident convicted of arson in 2017 fire

A Homer jury last week found a Nikolaevsk resident guilty of setting a 2017 fire that killed a neighbor’s dog and destroyed most of the neighbor’s possessions.

Debra Spencer, 52, was convicted of one count of first-degree arson and one count of first-degree criminal mischief in a Superior Court case presided over by Judge Lance Joanis, the Alaska Department of Law reported Friday.

Spencer was accused of setting fire to Brad Kirby’s Nikolaevsk home on July 31, 2017, following months of threats from Spencer.

On the night of the fire, July 31, 2017, Spencer confronted Kirby and his son on their driveway as they left on a trip to the store, threatening to burn down Kirby’s home, according to the department’s press release.

A bystander reported seeing Spencer run to a porch attached to Kirby’s home. A flash was seen, and then Spencer ran back to her residence, the release said.

The fire climbed the side of the building to the rooftop eaves, consuming the entire second floor and a killing a family dog, according to the release.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29.