A woman was arrested in Atwater over the weekend after a fire she lit to stay warm apparently spread to the rest of the building, according to a statement from the Atwater Police Department.
Merced County Cal Fire and the Atwater Police Department said the building was engulfed in flames just before 11 p..m Saturday, police said. The fire was south of Atwater Boulevard around Packers Street and Pacific Avenue near Lalo's Auto Repair.
Lucera Carvajal-Barraza, 30, was seen running from the area, according to police, and admitted starting the fire because she was trying to keep warm, police said.
Carvajal-Barraza is listed as a transient, police said, and was "possibly" squatting in the building without the owner's knowledge. She was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of felony arson. She remained in custody Monday with bail set at $100,000.
Monica Velez: 209-385-2486, @monicavelez21