Quarantine Hotel Unusable After Guest Allegedly Sets Fire

31-year-old has been charged with arson
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2021 2:20 PM CST
Woman Allegedly Lit a Fire Under Bed at Quarantine Hotel
A stock photo of Cairns.   (Getty Images)

An hotel quarantine facility that was home to 163 occupants as of Sunday had one guest who stood out—and who allegedly set fire to the hotel that day. "We did have some issues with that female occupant that we were managing," the Queensland Police Acting Chief Superintendent Chris Hodgman tells 7 News. He didn't detail those issues, but he did detail the allegations against the 31-year-old, who he said lit a fire under the bed in her room at the Pacific Hotel in Cairns on Sunday morning. She shared her room, which was on the 11-story hotel's top floor, with her two children; they were in the room at the time of the blaze.

No guests were injured but the hotel experienced "significant damage," necessitating that the guests were moved elsewhere. The New York Times explains that people arriving in Queensland from another state—as in the case of the woman—or abroad must quarantine for 14 days in a home whose ventilation meets quarantine requirements or in an earmarked hotel; the government does not cover those hotel costs. The woman has been charged with arson and willful damage. CNN notes that as of Sunday, none of the guests who were staying at the hotel had tested positive for COVID. (Read more COVID-19 stories.)

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