Arson arrest made in duplex fire

NEWPORT - Newport Police make an arrest for a fire at a duplex Friday afternoon.

Newport Fire and Police were dispatched to Newport at 2:26 p.m.
for a structure fire.  Initial units arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the second story window of the two story duplex.  Firefighters knocked down the fire within 13 minutes, while police worked to evacuate surrounding units.

While conducting a search of the duplex, firefighters say they found two separate points of origin on the fire.  Fire had originated upstairs in a bedroom and an additional point of origin downstairs in the living room.

Newport Police interviewed numerous witnesses and canvassed the area for any additional information.  Officers were given suspect information related to the case and located the female suspect riding a bicycle along East Chatham Street in Newport.

Morna Williams, 33, of Newport was arrested and charged with 1 Count of First Degree Arson and 1 Count of Felony Breaking and Entering.  Williams is in the Carteret County Jail under a $20,000 Secured Bond.  

Police say it appears the fire was a result of an argument earlier in the week between the suspect and the tenant renting the unit.

Fire and EMS units from Newport, Wildwood, Mill Creek and Carteret County Fire Marshall responded with about 20 personnel and 7 trucks.  Firefighters say the duplex sustained heavy smoke and heat damage throughout.  The fire did not spread to adjacent units, which were occupied at the time of the fire.

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