- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Authorities in Oregon have arrested a woman suspected of starting a large fire at a Billings apartment complex.

The Billings Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/1tiQ2Fp ) the U.S. Marshals Service arrested 25-year-old Jesse Root in Portland on Wednesday. She is being held on charges of arson and criminal endangerment.

The June 2 blaze, which caused an estimated $1 million in damage, sent flames shooting from the attic and smoke billowing from the roof. Nine of the apartments were occupied.

An affidavit filed in Yellowstone County Justice Court says Root watched the fire from a park bench, laughing while clutching a cigarette lighter. She was arrested, and because of her abnormal behavior, was taken to Billings Clinic for a psychiatric evaluation.

The affidavit does not say why she was released from custody.

Investigators have not released a possible motive.


Information from: The Billings Gazette, https://www.billingsgazette.com

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