Police: Barbie Ann Winstead burns apartment, leaves 7 homeless

10:30 AM, Jan 20, 2014   |    comments
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Video: Police: Woman burns apartment, leaves 7 homeless



Pinellas Park, Florida -- Police say one woman's reckless move burned seven people out of their homes early Monday morning.

Pinellas Park Police responded to a call about a woman destroying one of the five units in an apartment building on 40th St. N., near U.S. 19 and Park Blvd.

Officers say they went inside, and that's exactly what was happening. Investigators say 44-year-old Barbie Ann Winstead had trashed the place. We still don't know why.

While officers were trying to talk to her, they say they noticed the couch was on fire.

The officers grabbed extinguishers from their cars and tried to put it out.

But as one of the firefighters at the scene told 10 News, the foam rubber in couches burns like gasoline.

The police department called firefighters and got them out to the scene as the blaze consumed the apartment.

It burned so rapidly and intensely, it took fire crews 18 minutes to finally put out the fire.

The fire spread into the attic area and there's concern the roof may collapse.

So the seven people who live in the building were able to go back in and grab a few things, but they're locked out now and they may have to stay out for good.

The American Red Cross has helped them all find a place to stay and gotten them assistance with some food and clothes.

As for Winstead, she's charged with arson to an occupied dwelling, and also has an additional warrant for obstruction (battery on a law enforcement officer).

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