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Records: Woman used tequila and a lighter to start fire at Fargo hotel



FARGO, N.D. – One woman is behind bars after officials deemed a fire at a Fargo hotel as arson.

48-year-old Britt Kalberg is charged with one felony count of endangering by fire or explosion.

Fargo firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire in a second-floor room at the Grand Inn Hotel at 3402 14th Avenue South just before 5:00 a.m. on April 17.

Firefighters were able to quickly put out the fire in about seven minutes after the first engine arrived on the scene.

Court documents say police identified Kalberg as a suspect from surveillance video from the hours prior to the fire.

When officers spoke with Kalberg, she initially denied being in the hotel room where the fire began, but later changed her story. Documents say Kalberg told officers that she believed someone was holding her children hostage in the hotel room and that ‘something told her’ to start the hotel on fire so firefighters could save her children.

Documents say Kalberg admitted to pouring tequila on the hotel bedding and then used a lighter to light it on fire. Kalberg said she then left the room and waited in her car. Documents say Kalberg went to the back of the hotel to see if firefighters brought out her kids, but they did not.

The entire building was searched, but no occupants were found as they all had evacuated before fire crews went in.

The cost of repairs has been estimated at $25,000.