Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a Chimayó woman Sunday evening on suspicion of arson in connection with a fire that burned down a family member’s house, according to a statement of probable cause filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court on Monday.

Kristal Sherwood, 28, was booked into the Santa Fe County jail for an arson charge, a second-degree felony.

According to the statement of probable case, investigators believe Sherwood set a fire in her room in the home she shared with several family members on County Road 99 in the Chimayó area.

No injuries were reported, but the home was destroyed, according to sheriff’s deputies.

Deputies arrived at the property in response to a 911 call from Sherwood’s niece and housemate, according to court documents. When they arrived, the niece told deputies she was in her room when she began to smell smoke.

Sherwood began to throw items at the niece after she asked why she started the fire, according to court documents.

Sherwood grabbed a hose and attempted to extinguish the fire, according to court documents, but the blaze grew too quickly, prompting both to flee.

According to court documents, another family member told deputies she arrived at the home after seeing the fire ignite while driving on a nearby road. When she asked Sherwood about the blaze, the woman replied, “I’m sorry; it wasn’t my fault.”



The family member told deputies Sherwood had attempted to burn the house down before by lighting a mattress and threatened to do so in other incidents, according to the statement of probable cause.

Sherwood, who was found walking down a nearby road, was taken into custody. She first denied starting the fire but later told deputies it erupted after she lit a candle and then used it to light a cigarette, according to the statement of probable cause.

She said she placed the still-lit candle inside a small, open chest next to scented oils and left the room. She returned to find her entertainment center on fire, according to deputies.

When asked why she used the candle to the light the cigarette instead of using a lighter, Sherwood told deputies it was “just in case the cigarette goes out.”

The deputy who filed the report said the explanation was more in line with narcotics use, according to the report.

The deputy filed the arson charge after consulting with Assistant District Attorney Megan Woods, according to court documents.

Sherwood was booked on a 2021 warrant for driving while intoxicated and other misdemeanor charges in Sandoval County. She had a first appearance in court Monday, but the case was continued until Tuesday, according to court records.

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