Woman charged in motel fire that injured 3 police officers, displaced 34 people

Posted at 11:10 AM, Mar 30, 2019

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Police charged 46-year-old Staci Darlene Austin in connection to a fire at the Interstate Inn that injured three police officers and displaced 34 people earlier this month.

Fire crews were called to the Interstate Inn, along the 2100 block of Indian Hill Road, around 10:35 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.

Firefighters and police officers went door to door alerting people about the fire and getting them out.

Three police officers suffered smoke inhalation and one person suffered life-threatening injuries in the fire.

Fire damage at the Interstate Inn

Fire damage at the Interstate Inn

"We saw the flames just above the building. All you saw is the top floor just flames coming out of one of the rooms,” one woman staying at another motel across the street told WTVR CBS 6. "The flames were so high. I really thought the place was a goner. I thought it was just going to burn to the ground."

Fire officials said one room was "significantly damaged" as was the motel's exterior.

Austin, who was charged with one count of arson, is being held at the Chesterfield County Jail pending a court date.

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