Norcross, GA – Sprinkler system helps contain apartment fire; Woman charged with arson

A Norcross woman has been charged with arson after allegedly setting her own bed on fire, Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services said.  Mirtha Valcin, 29, was arrested Sept. 6 in connection with the Aug. 26 fire at The Retreat at Arc Way Apartments in Norcross.

Firefighters responded to the apartment complex around 9 p.m. on Aug. 26 and found Valcin’s bedroom extensively damaged by the fire. The flames had been contained to the mattress and headboard, but caused damage to items throughout the room and sent smoke through the entire apartment, the department said in a release.

There was also a smaller fire in the laundry room that appeared to have started with a pile of clothes. That triggered a sprinkler system to go off, causing water damage, according to the department.  Valcin told firefighters she fell asleep and discovered the fire when she was awoken by a noise, the department said. She was the only one in the apartment at the time of the fire and lives alone, according to the department.

Valcin’s story changed in a follow-up interview, according to fire investigators, leading her to be charged with arson. The department is not releasing information about how the fire was set or Valcin’s alleged motive at this time, a release says.  Valcin is being held at the Gwinnett County Jail on $27,700 bond.

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