FRONT ROYAL – Authorities arrested a town woman Wednesday and accused her of setting a fire in her apartment last month. 

Police charged Alicia Ford Hullihan with arson in connection with a Jan. 4 fire in an apartment building at 204 Virginia Ave., according to information released Wednesday afternoon by police Capt. Crystal Cline. The fire caused significant damage to the property and forced multiple tenants out of their homes, she noted.

Cline spoke by phone Wednesday about the month-long investigation.

“On the onset of the fire, the investigators had a direction in which way I guess, you know, details were developing,” Cline said. “They did send some items to the lab. They interviewed numerous people and witnesses, including the suspect, and that just took time.”

The fire burned mostly in the suspect’s apartment.

Officers arrested Hullihan shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday.  Cline said she didn’t know where Hullihan has resided since the Jan. 4 fire.

“I don’t know if she was staying with a friend or at a motel,” Cline said. “That, I don’t know." 

Police took Hullihan to the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail where a magistrate ordered her held without bond. Hullihan is scheduled to appear in Warren County General District Court on March 12, but could have a hearing earlier, Cline said.

Authorities also expect to charge Hullihan in the deaths of six cats that died as a result of the fire, Cline states in the media release.

Cline said she did not know the status of the other occupants of the apartment forced out by the fire. The suspect’s apartment sustained most of the damage, Cline said. The fire on Virginia Avenue was not as severe as the recent blaze at a Royal Lane residence that resulted in a fatality, Cline said.

The Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office of the Department of Fire and Rescue Services and the Front Royal Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division conducted the joint investigation with assistance from the Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Canine Division of the Frederick County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Authorities ask anyone with further information about this case to contact Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico at 540-636-3830 or Front Royal police detective Marc Ramey at 540-636-2208.

Contact Alex Bridges at abridges@nvdaily.com