Woman arrested, charged with Kelly Street arson - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Woman arrested, charged with Kelly Street arson

CHATTANOOGA, (WRCB)  --  A woman with a history of arson was picked up again Thursday night. 

Police say 41-year-old Icey Johnson is charged with burning a house on Kelly Street.  Eyewitnesses told investigators they saw her fighting with a man outside the home Thursday evening.

Investigators say Johnson left, then came back and within minutes the house was on fire.

Fire investigators aren't saying who the man involved in the fight is, or how Icey Johnson knows him.  It wasn't the man who owns the home at 558 Kelly Street.  Officials say he wasn't even there, and now his house is gone.

"I saw smoke," says neighbor, Rosa Morgan.  "At first I thought it was dust."  It wasn't dust coming from the home, it was smoke and fire.

"I decided to come to the back door and look," the neighbor says.  "That's when I saw it was smoke and the blaze." 

Morgan lives directly behind Richard McKinley's home, and has known him for years.  She says it wasn't long before fire fighters showed up.  Investigators say figuring out how the fire started was easy.

"There were several eyewitnesses watching the events unfold," says Bruce Garner with the Chattanooga Fire Department. 

Witnesses told police they saw a woman and man fighting on the front porch shortly before the fire started.  Officials say the woman was 41-year-old, Icey Johnson.  It wasn't long before the fight became heated.  The man pulled a knife and Johnson threw a brick. Then a cab pulled up with Johnson's boyfriend, she got in and left.

"According to eyewitnesses Johnson returned to the house and went inside," Garner says.  "They saw her leave and minutes later fire broke out." 

Johnson only went a few blocks down the road in the taxi cab, before she came back.  Flames were already high when Morgan noticed the fire.  "It was very clouded and smoke was everywhere," she says.

Thankfully no one was injured or even inside at the time, including the homeowner, Richard McKinley.

"The homeowner is a victim," says Garner.  "He was not involved in the dispute." 

Investigators aren't saying why Johnson, and the man she was fighting with were at McKinley's home.  Johnson's name is well known to neighbors, who say she's around a lot.

Rosa Morgan says McKinley is a good neighbor.  "He grew up in that house," she says. 

Richard McKinley declined Channel 3's request for an interview.  Icey Johnson is charged with arson, and setting fire to personal property. The second charge is for setting her boyfriend's car on fire in April, the same boyfriend who picked her up Thursday.

Johnson also pleaded guilty to aggravated arson in 1991.  She's currently being held at the Silverdale Correctional Facility.

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