A 16-year-old girl was arrested Tuesday after a fight with her mother allegedly led her to set a couch hotel on fire while on vacation in Ocala, Florida, according to police.
Isabella Faith Adeline Garcia and her mother were visiting the Ocala Hilton on SW 36th Avenue from Peoria, Illinois, when the incident took place at about 3:20 a.m. Tuesday, Ocala police wrote on Facebook.
Garcia called 911 herself approximately three to five minutes after starting the fire, according to an affidavit obtained by FOX 35 Orlando.
“I got into a fight with my mom,” she told dispatchers, according to the affidavit. “I got into a fight with my mom and then she got another room. She wasn’t talking to me and then she wouldn’t answer any of my calls or text messages. I don’t know. It was like this couch in the lobby … I don’t know what to do.”
“I’m scared. I don’t know what to do,” the girl added.
The girl’s mom told authorities that she and her daughter were on vacation in Orlando and had spent the day in Ocala to visit the springs on their way to Daytona Beach, the affidavit said.
During their stay at the hotel, the two got into a fight and Garcia told her mom that she is a “horrible mother” and she hated her – which is not abnormal, according to the mom.
The mom said she then left the room in an attempt to keep the argument from escalating, called her daughter to tell her the new room she was in, and the fire alarms went off about 15 minutes later.
When she went to make sure her daughter evacuated the room, she found Garcia standing outside in the parking lot.
“[She] has never done anything like this,” the mom told police. “She is a good girl.”
All 320 hotel guests were evacuated safely, according to Ocala PD, and were allowed back to their rooms that same morning.
The fire was extinguished within seven minutes of first responders arriving at the hotel and there were no injuries reported.
Garcia was charged with arson of an occupied structure and criminal mischief greater than $1,000, the affidavit revealed.
Hotel management estimated that the damage was around a “couple hundred thousand dollars.”
The fire started near the banquet rooms of the hotel, which is where police and fire officials discovered a pile of char and ashes from what was a couch.
Black soot was also observed traveling up the wall and onto the ceiling.
Surveillance footage from the hotel showed the teen roaming the hallway between 2:30 a.m. and 3:15 a.m., FOX 35 reported, and at 3:08 a.m., she was seen talking on the phone.
At 3:17 a.m. she was seen walking up to a couch with a long lighter and allegedly used it to light the corner of a pillow on fire.
She then walked out of the hotel to the parking lot.
A lighter similar to the one seen in the surveillance video was located outside the hotel near where she was sitting after calling 911.
Garcia was arrested and transported to the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center.
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