Alicia Elizabeth King, 19, of Benton, Tenn. was arrested after an investigation revealed that she set the fire in the elevator in Grant Lee Hall.
The hillside that Grant Lee Hall sits on was alive with red flashing lights from several fire trucks belonging to more than five departments in Claiborne County.
According to firefighters on the scene, it was being reported that flames and smoke could be seen from the outside of the building and people inside were suffocating from the smoke, resulting in several departments responding to aid the Harrogate Volunteer Fire Department with the task of getting students out of the dormitory as well as putting out the fire.
When firefighters arrived on scene, no flames were showing but smoke was quickly spreading throughout the building. Within minutes, they were able to evacuate the building and focus on getting the smoke cleared out.
While firefighters focused on getting the smoke cleared out, Bruce Myers with the Claiborne County Bomb and Arson Task Force initiated an investigation into the cause of the fire.
“It appeared that two wrappers were lit, one went out and then the second one actually sparked fire,” he said, “There is damage done to the elevator from the smoke and the soot that fell from the ceiling.”
Myers pointed out a wrapper that had been stuffed in the upper right side of the elevator. Springdale Volunteer Fire Department Chief Adam Payne removed the wrapper and placed it in an evidence bag for the investigation.
Myers met with LMU Security who then reviewed the video from the hallway. After an investigation and talking with King, she was placed under arrest and charged with aggravated arson and underage consumption.
The Bomb and Arson Task Force will continue to conduct their investigation into why King initiated the fire.
$25-thousand signature bond
She was bonded out Monday morning on a $25-thousand signature bond. She will appear in court on November 10, 2011 on the charges.