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Hundreds evacuated after teenage girl sets fire to hotel after argument with mom

Hundreds evacuated after teenage girl sets fire to hotel after argument with mom

A teenager was arrested after a hotel had to be evacuated due to a fire

Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from a hotel in Florida as police say a teenager who set a couch on fire after an argument with her mom was arrested.

Ocala Fire Rescue in Florida received a call of a fire at the Hilton Ocala at approximately 3:24am local time on 25 July.

Responding to reports of a blaze, when they got to the hotel they found alarms going off, the sprinkler system on and police evacuating guests from the building.

Firefighters made their way through a smoky lobby to a first floor hallway and they could tell they were going the right way as the smoke became thicker and they had to use thermal imaging cameras to find the source of the blaze.

It turned out to be a burning couch, and firefighters were able to put the flames out within minutes of arriving though the item of furniture was destroyed and there was a massive scorch mark up the wall where it used to be.

The blaze incinerated the couch and left a huge scorch up the wall where the fire had been raging.
Facebook/Ocala Fire Rescue

Ocala Fire Rescue estimated the overall damage to the hotel to have been 'a couple hundred thousand dollars' though fortunately nobody was injured in the fire.

A total of 320 people were safely evacuated from the hotel without injury or further incident and the hotel guests were even able to be back in their rooms later that same morning.

Police have treated the matter as arson as their investigation indicates that the fire was started deliberately and they have made an arrest.

A later update from Ocala Fire Rescue confirmed that a 16-year-old girl who had allegedly begun the blaze after fighting with her mom had been arrested.

She was identified as being from Illinois and police are now investigating the allegations that she started the fire.

Emergency services were able to evacuate everyone safely from the hotel without injury.
Facebook/Ocala Fire Rescue

The investigation into the situation is ongoing, and in Florida a 16-year-old can be tried as an adult for arson as it's a felony.

Recently, a man who spent 32 years in prison for an arson he didn't commit was awarded $13 million in compensation after being released.

Victor Rosario had been arrested in 1982 for a fire that resulted in the deaths of eight people before being released in 2014 after his conviction was overturned.

His lawyers said he'd been coerced into a confession at the time and that there was never any physical evidence tying him to the crime.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Ocala Fire Rescue

Topics: US News, Crime, News