320 evacuated after teen allegedly sets fire to Hilton hotel sofa after fight with mom, Florida officials say

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OCALA, Fla. (WFLA) — A 16-year-old girl was arrested Tuesday and accused of setting fire to a sofa at a Hilton hotel in Florida “after fighting with her mother,” police say.

Fire crews were called to a structure fire at the Hilton Ocala in Ocala, Florida, around 3:25 a.m. Upon arrival at the hotel, crews found staff evacuating all 320 guests from the building.

With the help of a thermal imaging camera, firefighters were able to identify the source of the blaze, which had “consumed a couch and scorched an adjacent wall,” by the time crews could put it out.

“The fire was extinguished entirely within seven minutes of arrival,” Ocala Fire Rescue said.

(Courtesy of Ocala Fire Rescue)

An investigator also responded to the hotel given the “deliberate nature” of the incident, fire officials said.

Shortly after, police arrested a 16-year-old girl visiting from Peoria, Illinois, who allegedly started the fire after fighting with her mother.

The damage to the hotel was estimated at nearly $200,000.

(Courtesy of Ocala Fire Rescue)

“Thanks to an effective evacuation plan and prompt response by first responders, no injuries were reported, and hotel guests were able to return to their rooms the same morning,” police said.

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