PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – An arrest is made in connection with a motel fire in Petersburg. Investigators say 25-year-old Shakeeta Green started the blaze at the Royal Inn Motel -- which is located on South Little Church Street.
The fire started in room 141. Investigators say the blaze was purposely set during a domestic dispute. Green faces one felony count of arson.
Investigators say she was at the motel visiting with her boyfriend Monday afternoon when the two got into an argument. They say Green took some of the items in the room and set them on fire. The flames spread quickly.
"I think it's a lot more damage than she intended," said Petersburg Deputy Fire Marshal, Jeff Fleming.
Shortly after the fire police arrested Green.
Jeff Fleming: "She knew we were coming and she knew we were looking for her."
Nicole Bell: "She wasn't surprised by the arrest?"
Jeff Fleming: "No"
Nicole Bell: "Did she admit to anything?"
Jeff Fleming: "I can't go into that at this time."
We went to Green's Petersburg home but no one answered.
"It's pretty unusual. It's a drastic measure to set a fire inside of a structure," said Fleming.
The clean-up effort is underway at the motel.
"Three rooms got damaged from the fire. A lot of water damage to the sheet rock; all that's been taken out," said the owner of the motel, Sunny Anand.
Anand estimates between $20,000 and $40,000 worth of damage.
Sunny Anand: "I'm feeling very bad and depressed."
Nicole Bell: "You're losing money?"
Sunny Anand: "Every minute."
The extended stay motel has been shutdown in response to the fire. About a dozen families have been displaced. Some of those families have been re-located to other area motels. Others are being helped by the Red Cross.
It's unclear when the Royal Inn Motel will re-open. Green is being held at Riverside Regional Jail. A court date for Green has not been set. No one was injured during the fire.