Phoenix apartment fire: Suspect allegedly upset over infidelity and drug use prior to setting fire

Court documents detailed what happened in the lead up to a fire at a Phoenix apartment complex that burned several cars, and left some residents without a home.

The suspect in the case, identified as 38-year-old Deja Lauren Clayton, was arrested in an area north of 12th Street and Bethany Home Road, according to officials.

Besides cars, fire officials said the May 6 fire also burned four apartments.

Fire happened in the early morning hours

According to earlier statement by officials with the Phoenix Fire Department, crews responded to reports of a structure fire at an apartment complex, located near 12th Street and Maryland Avenue, just before 2:30 a.m.

Once on scene, firefighters encountered a large fire coming from the single-story complex. After ensuring all residents made it out safely, firefighters began attacking the fire.

"As crews were making entry they found five to six cars on fire in the back of the complex," the department said in a statement. "Command immediately balanced the assignment to a first alarm."

Additional crews were called to the scene to help battle the car fires.

Image 1 of 5

Firefighters say six people were displaced after a fire broke out early Friday morning at an apartment complex in Phoenix. (Phoenix Fire Department)

Witness video appears to show woman starting fire

One resident's truck was facing a carport before it caught fire, and a dashcam inside his truck appears to show someone starting the blaze.

"My dashcam on my truck caught a person walking towards the storage unit – these are all storage units where the carport collapsed. My camera caught someone going in, immediately setting fire to something, leaving, closing the door, locking it, and just walking away as if nothing ever happened," he said.

Another resident said she learned yesterday she lost her job, and now, she also lost her car in the fire.

Court documents provide new details on case

On May 9, Phoenix Police officials announced that Clayton was arrested and booked into jail in connection to the arson investigation.

According to court documents related to the incident, Clayton was found by patrol officers right across the street from the scene, and eventually taken to police headquarters for questioning.

"The defendant was audio/video interviewed and admitted under Miranda her involvement in the fire," read a portion of the documents.

In the documents, investigators said that Clayton was known by residents at the apartment complex because she would use drugs and engage in sexual activity inside a storage unit where the fire started.

Prior to the fire, investigators said the suspect was upset at her boyfriend for allegedly having sexual relations with other women, and using drugs in one of the apartment's storage unit.

"Defendant admitted to smoking methamphetamines at midnight. Defendant said at approximately [2:10 a.m.] she went to [the apartment complex] on foot. While at the location, she proceeded to open [the storage unit] that was unlocked," read a portion of the court documents.

Once inside the storage unit, the suspect, investigators allege, used a lighter to light a sheet on fire, walked outside, and closed the door.

"Defendant said she is glad nobody got hurt in the fire, and she is extremely sorry to the apartment complex," court documents read.

Clayton is accused of felony arson and endangerment. A judge has set a $50,000 secured appearance bond for her, and she is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 16.

Deja Clayton

Deja Clayton