When Suzanne Izenberg was arrested for arson yesterday, the arresting officer suggested to the court that she not be released on bail because she's a drug abuser and there's a good chance she'll try to set something else on fire -- which makes a lot of sense considering she's tried to burn down her own house three times in less than two years.
Izenberg's latest blaze happened in August, and it seems she was hell-bent on letting the flames consume her entire home, which is pretty selfish -- her house is attached to four other homes with a shared attic.
According to court documents obtained by New Times, about 9 a.m. on August 19, police were dispatched to Izenberg's home to respond to her latest fire.
When fire crews got to her house, Izenberg was holding her patio door shut to keep them from entering and extinguishing the flames. She screamed at firemen, telling them to "get out," saying she didn't want them in there.
Meanwhile, fire crews saw smoke pouring out of a window. A responding police officer physically removed Izenberg -- who continued to try to keep fire crews from entering her house (she was ultimately placed in handcuffs) -- and put out the fire.
Following an investigation into the fire, arson investigators determined the fire started in a room in the home Izenberg uses as an office -- which is exactly where two previous fires at the house started. During the investigation, a lighter, over 60 burnt matches, syringes, and other drug paraphernalia were found in the office.
Izenberg told detectives an unknown intruder had broken into her home, started the fire, and left. She, however, remained -- when police got to the house she was covered in ash and had burns on her legs. She later claimed the fire started when she accidentally knocked over a candle.
The cost of the damage for that fire was about $15,000, which is nothing compared to the price tag for a fire Izenberg set in 2009.
On November 19, 2009, fire crews responded to a blaze in the same home. Arson detectives determined the fire was started in the office by an open-flame device and was accelorated by rubbing alcohol. Izenberg told police she accidentally spilled lamp oil while lighting a candle.
The cost of the damage caused by that fire was in the ballpark of $130,000.
Izenberg started another fire at her house on June 18. She claimed she burned a turkey leg she was cooking in her oven. Like the other fires, however, arson detectives determined the fire was started in the office. There was no fire damage in the kitchen and detectives determined the fire had at least five points of origin, all of which were in the office.
Izenberg was booked into jail on one count each of arson and endangerment.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.