Wheaton College student charged with setting dorm fires

Wheaton arson_1549591369098.JPG.jpg

NORTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Wheaton College student has been charged with setting a series of fires inside a residence hall over the past two months.

Janelys Pimentel, 22, was arrested Thursday following an investigation by Norton police, with assistance from Massachusetts State Police troopers assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

A box alarm just before 3:30 a.m. Thursday sent Norton firefighters, police and Wheaton Public Safety officials rushing over to McIntire Hall. They arrived to find a small fire in an old water fountain in a third-floor hallway.

The building was evacuated and the fire was quickly extinguished.

Kate McCaffrey, Wheaton College’s vice president of student affairs and dean of students, sent an email to the campus community saying that while the fire was a disruption, it didn’t cause any injuries or damage.

It was the sixth fire set inside McIntire Hall since Nov. 28, according to Norton police. In early December, the building was evacuated after fires were set inside the second- and third-floor bathrooms.

Police said Pimentel was identified as a possible suspect and was brought in for questioning. Based on statements she made to Norton detectives, she was arrested and charged with two counts of arson, four counts of wantonly injuring real and personal property, and six counts of vandalism.

There were no injuries reported as a result of any of the fires, according to police.

The incidents remain under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call state investigators at 1-800-682-9229.

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