Suspect in Latham Travelodge fire arrested on felony arson charge

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LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Colonie Police Department made an arrest Tuesday in connection with the arson fire at the Cocca’s Travelodge Inn on October 1.

Police said Marissa Smith, 29, of Troy, lit the bedding in her room on fire, which then spread to the rest of the building.

Smith was the only victim taken to the hospital that night. She was released from Albany Medical Center Tuesday morning, whereupon she was arrested.

Smith was charged with Arson in the Second Degree. It was the first opportunity for a court appearance in the case because police said Smith had been under psychiatric care and was being treated for burns.

Nearly two dozen rooms were occupied the night of the fire. At least half of them were by long-term renters. Some of the residents escaped the flames by scrambling to the roof.

Everyone made it out alive, but they lost all their belongings.

Colonie Police Lt. Robert Winn said he could not discuss Smith’s motive or whether or not mental illness played a role in her actions, but he said Smith has had contact with local law enforcement in the past.

Smith was taken to Albany County Jail without bail. She told the judge she’s unemployed and cannot afford an attorney.

The judge set another court appearance for Wednesday night so she could be provided a public defender.

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