Technician Held in Hospital Fire

A psychiatric technician at Camarillo State Hospital has been arrested for allegedly setting a fire that destroyed an employees' dormitory valued at about $1.5 million, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department reported.

Susan Bouchard, 35, was arrested earlier this week after she allegedly admitted to a sheriff's deputy that she touched off the blaze, Sgt. Roger Kerr said.

The fire was set in Bouchard's ground floor apartment and spread quickly to the attic of the two-story building, Kerr said. He said it was not yet known how the fire was set. No one was injured.

Bouchard was being held Wednesday in Ventura County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail after her arrest on suspicion of arson.

Kerr said that after the fire, Bouchard was taken to Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo to be checked for possible smoke inhalation. A doctor there saw her "exhibiting bizarre behavior," Kerr said. He did not know the nature of that behavior.

Bouchard was taken to Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura, where she reportedly admitted starting the fire, Kerr said.

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