By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 30, 2023.
A 33-year-old southern Alberta woman who was accused of causing a fire at a city hotel earlier in the year, is no longer facing charges.
Charges of arson causing damage to property and arson to property with reckless disregard to whether the property is occupied, against Kerissa Rikki Plume were stayed this week in Lethbridge Court of King’s Bench.
A stay of proceedings allows the court to halt legal action against an accused, although the charges can be brought back within a year should evidence warrant it.
The Crown told court the charges were being stayed because there is no likelihood of conviction.
Police charged Plume after a fire broke out at about 1 a.m. Feb. 24 at the Holiday Inn hotel in the 2300 block of Mayor Magrath Drive South. Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services was called to a fire in a room on the third floor of the hotel, and a woman, who was the lone occupant of the room when emergency personnel arrived, was taken to hospital.
Crews contained the fire to the single room and while no one else was injured, a number of hotel patrons were “displaced” because of smoke and water damage.
Police reported that the building was significantly damaged by the sprinkler system, and damages were estimated to be about $1 million.
An investigator determined the fire was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials.
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