The fires were set over the past 10 months by Shirley Ann Vigneu at the Southern Towers Apartment complex, Thomas Faison, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told The Washington Post. She has been charged only in the most recent fire.
Vigneau used matches to start paper fires in trash rooms, hallways and other public places, usually after midnight, and caused repeated evacuations and about $55,000 in damage but no injuries, Faison said.
“She apparently derived something from these fires, but as far as we know, there’s no economic or ideological aspect to it,” he told the paper.
A security camera caught Vigneu Tuesday night as she went in and out of a trash room as a fire was starting, authorities said. She was arrested Wednesday and admitted to the arson, Alexandria’s interim fire chief, Andrew D. Snead, told the Post.