Some Pinellas Park residents have been displaced after police say a woman set a couch on fire, causing damage to adjacent apartments.
Pinellas Park police responded just before 2 a.m. to a vandalism call saying the suspect, identified as 44-year-old Barbie Ann Winstead, was destroying one of the apartments at 7685 40th St. N.
Police say they met the caller and Winstead’s boyfriend outside the apartment, and once inside, they called several times for Winstead to come out of one of the bedrooms before she complied.
Winstead tried to walk past the officers as they saw smoke coming from the bedroom, and police say they detained her while trying to extinguish the fire.
The fire became too large, police say, prompting the officers to evacuate residents and call the Pinellas County Fire Department, which extinguished the flames.
The fire spread to four apartments, police say, causing some smoke damage and displacing seven residents.
The displaced families are working with Red Cross to secure temporary shelter, police say.
Winstead has been charged with arson and battery on a law enforcement officer.