Police: Woman admits to starting apartment fire in NE Albuquerque

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque woman admitted to police she intentionally started the fire at an apartment complex that left 23 people without a home.

A criminal complaint states Cherlynn Martinez told investigators she lit papers on fire with a stove in a home at the Courtyard Apartments Friday near San Pedro and Montgomery. Her sister told police she saw it happen and tried to get Martinez to stop, but Martinez shoved the ignited papers into a mattress and bed frame stored in the kitchen wall.

The Red Cross is still helping the people who were displaced. Total damage to the complex is estimated at $750,000. Martinez was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on a charge of arson.

Martinez was supposed to make her first court appearance Sunday, however, it was reset until Monday. She has no prior criminal history in New Mexico.

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