Police: Woman arrested on assault charges after fire at apartment complex

The James City County Fire Department responded to a structure fire in the Woods of Williamsburg apartment complex on Saturday night.

The fire occurred in the 100 block of Tilghman Court. The 911 call was received at 10:31 p.m. Upon arrival, fire crews found an eight-unit building with fire conditions. They also assisted multiple residents to evacuate the building.

The fire heavily damaged two units, with smoke and water damage in the remainder of the building. No injuries were reported.

A firefighter was assaulted after assisting with the incident, according to police.

James City County deputy police chief Stephen Rubino said a 24-year-old firefighter was assisting firefighting operations just after 1 a.m. when she approached by Ellen Carol West.

Rubino said West, 41, punched the firefighter in the chest one time and asked how much the firefighter could handle.

The assault appeared unprovoked and it is not known why West assaulted the firefighter, who was taken to Williamsburg Regional Sentara Hospital where she was treated and released for a minor injury, according to police.

Rubino said West was arrested and charged with felony assault on a firefighter and taken to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.

Units from the City of Williamsburg and James City-Bruton Volunteer fire departments assisted with the emergency.

The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents. James City County fire marshals are investigating the cause of the fire.

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