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Woman arrested on suspicion of arson after allegedly setting fire in Costa Mesa hotel room

Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue members responded Sunday morning to a report of a fire at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa.
Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue members responded Sunday morning to a report of a fire at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa, thought to have been started by a guest.
(Photo courtesy Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue)

A woman who is thought to have started a fire inside a Costa Mesa hotel room Sunday morning, after calling the police and threatening self-harm, was arrested on suspicion of arson and is undergoing a mental health evaluation, officials confirmed.

Costa Mesa Police Department received a call shortly after 6:15 a.m. Sunday from a hotel room on the 3100 block of Bristol Street, where a woman threatened to harm herself and start a fire, according to a release issued Sunday.

Officers arriving on scene heard a smoke alarm sounding near the location, where the suspect had barricaded the front door, the release indicated. After forcing entry, police located the woman and observed thick smoke and flames inside the hotel room.

Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue crews outside a Bristol Street hotel Sunday morning.
Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue crews outside a Bristol Street hotel, where a woman reportedly started a fire inside a fourth-floor room, police reported.
(Photo courtesy Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue)

The woman and other guests from nearby rooms were evacuated as responders with Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue extinguished the blaze.

CMFR spokesman Capt. Joe Noceti confirmed the incident took place on the fourth floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located at 3131 Bristol St. Multiple units arrived on scene within minutes of being called to the scene at 6:30 a.m.

“There was no smoke showing from the exterior [of the hotel],” Noceti said Monday. “They climbed to the fourth floor through an interior stairwell and saw visible smoke in the hallway.”

Upon entering the room, crew members noted heavy smoke and no visibility, the captain continued. A smoldering fire, about 2 square feet in size, was burning on the floor of the room and was quickly put out with the aid of a fire extinguisher.

An outside company was called to ventilate the area, according to Noceti. One person on scene was treated for minor smoke- or fire-related injuries but reports from the incident do not indicate anyone was transported to the hospital.

Fire damage was contained to a single room within the hotel.

The woman discovered inside the barricaded room was arrested on suspicion of arson, and a mental health evaluation was being conducted Monday, according to Sunday’s release. Costa Mesa police were not releasing the suspect’s name or identity, pending the results of the evaluation.

Exactly how the fire was started was still being investigated Monday by Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue as a possible arson. Anyone who might have more information about the incident is asked to call the Costa Mesa Police Department at (714) 754-5280.

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