Police say a woman set fire to an isolated hotel in Queensland, Australia, under her bed in her room, prompting the evacuation of 163 occupants of the building.
Police on Sunday set fire to a 31-year-old woman who was isolating herself with her two children at a Pacific hotel in Cairns.
Police say a woman’s room on the top floor of a hotel in northern Queensland caught fire around 7 a.m. Sunday. Then it spread to the adjoining rooms.
The hotel was evacuated quickly and no injuries were reported, Queensland Police Chief Superintendent Chris Hodgman said Sunday afternoon. But the hotel suffered “significant damage” and residents had to be relocated to another isolated facility, he said.
Photos and videos posted on social media showed fire and thick smoke coming out of two rooms on the 11th floor of the hotel.
Police are taking care of her two children who came from another state in the country and stayed in the room for a few days.
Authorities have charged the woman with arson and intentionally damaging another. He was expected to appear in local court on Monday.
Anyone coming to Queensland from another state or abroad must be isolated for 14 days under the state’s epidemic controls. Those who have a home that meets government standards regarding ventilation may be subject to home isolation, but those who do not must be isolated at a designated hotel and pay the fee themselves.
The incident comes as anti-epidemic rallies continue to escalate across Australia. On Saturday, police estimated that 20,000 people took to the streets of Melbourne to protest the state government’s plans to introduce a bill that would extend its powers to impose epidemic controls. Earlier in the week, thousands of people gathered in the country’s state capitals to protest against vaccine requirements and corona virus controls.
On Monday, Australia announced the third case of an isolated Omigron corona virus variant in the northern region of a traveler from South Africa. Two cases were found among isolated passengers in New South Wales on Sunday.