Woman Who Set Fire To A Pittsfield Home Tells Police Why
Gloria Kahn, 21, is being held for a mental health evaluation. Kahn faces one count of arson of a dwelling house. A preliminary mental health evaluation determined that Kahn was not competent, and she is being held for further evaluation.
Shortly after 2 p.m., Feb. 10, police were sent to Tyler Street for a report of a building fire. Thick black smoke could be seen coming from the back of the house, and police and firefighters cleared the building.
"I thought it would be fun"
That's what a woman said when police asked her why she allegedly started the fire in the basement of a Tyler Street home last weekend.
Once outside, residents saw Kahn, who lived in a second-floor apartment, standing against the back of the house, according to a police report. She appeared to be covered in blood, with a shirt covering her face.
Police said Kahn, whose address is listed in court files as Orlando, Fla., was "staring aimlessly," and had an "empty look" in her eyes.
She told police she was not injured and denied being covered in blood, instead insisting that she was "covered in chocolate."
When asked why she was covered in chocolate, Kahn replied that she had been taking a shower.
Without being asked, Kahn told police that she had started the fire.
Ambulance personnel examined Kahn and determined that she was not injured. It was not clear that what had covered her was actually blood.
Witnesses told police Kahn was seen carrying wooden pallets into the basement shortly before the fire broke out.
While at the Pittsfield Police Department, Kahn told police she started the fire because she was cold and wanted to warm up.
According to court files, she said,
"I turned the fire on"
She also told police that she used "combustible things, wood, and liquid," and a lighter to start the fire.
An empty gas can was found in the basement near where the fire started.
The fire was extinguished in about 20 minutes.
She is due back in Central Berkshire District Court on March 5.