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Woman starts fire in Mass. PD lobby after getting courtesy ride from officer following crash

The woman was waiting for a ride in the lobby of the Westborough Police Department when she intentionally set a clothing donation box on fire


Westborough Police Department

By David Cifarelli

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — A woman was held on $25,000 bail after authorities claim she started a fire inside the lobby of the Westborough police station Sunday evening, according to the Westborough Police Department.

The fire was reported at the station, located at 45 West Main St., around 8:20 p.m. on Nov. 26, Fire Chief Patrick Purcell and Police Chief Todd Minardi said in a joint statement. The station was evacuated and firefighters quickly put out the fire and ventilated the building, authorities said.

No one was hurt and all police operations resumed. The sprinkler system caused significant water damage. Purcell estimated the damage at $250,000.

Before the incident, a woman who was waiting for a ride after her vehicle was towed in a car crash, was brought to the lobby by a police officer, Westborough police said. The woman was identified as Theresa Abichaker of West Roxbury, according to police.

Authorities later determined Abichaker intentionally set a clothing donation box on fire, police said.

Following a search that included K9s and drones, authorities found Abichaker and arrested her without incident. She was charged with burning a public building (three counts), attempting to burn a public building (three counts), vandalism and fire negligence.

Abichaker is expected to be arraigned in Westborough District Court on Monday, according to police. The incident remains under investigation by the Westborough Fire Department, Westborough Police Department, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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