SHARPSVILLE, Pa. (WYTV) – Police have arrested a suspect that they believe set fire to an apartment and business building in Sharpsville.
Courtney Speir-Chrastina, 25, faces several counts of aggravated arson, recklessly endangering another person and causing catastrophe charges.
The fire broke out about 2:20 a.m. Thursday at the Trailblazer Building on West Ridge Avenue.
When firefighters arrived, the building was filling up with smoke. Crews had to go door to door to wake up residents and get them out.
No injuries were reported.
All the residents were taken to a church community center down the street where the Red Cross is helping them.
Speir-Chrastina is being held in the Mercer County Jail on $100,000 bond.
According to a criminal complaint, investigators determined that Speir-Chrastina set the fire after finding burn marks on the ground near the door of her apartment. They noted there was a strong odor of gasoline in the apartment, which was found to be vacant at the time of the fire.
Investigators also reported finding gas cans outside Speir-Chrastina’s apartment as well as a smoke alarm, which had been removed from her apartment.
They say she admitted to setting the fire because she was being evicted and she was frustrated about other circumstances, according to the criminal complaint.