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Woman sets fire in mother's house following argument, police say

READING, Pa. - A woman has been jailed for allegedly setting a fire inside her mother's home in northwest Reading.

Firefighters and police were dispatched shortly before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday to the home in the 1000 block of Weiser Street.

An investigation revealed Nashalie Santana and her mother had argued earlier in the day because her mother wanted Santana out of the house, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

That night, Santana's mother smelled smoke coming from behind her daughter's locked bedroom door, said police, adding that the mother forced her way inside and discovered a fire in the closet.

Firefighters responded and managed to contain the fire to the bedroom, where police said they also found human feces on the floor and various insults against Santana's mother written on the wall.

Santana fled the home after the fire, but returned while police were still on the scene. She admitted to writing the insults and placing the feces on the floor and told police the fire started when she flicked a cigarette near the closet, according to the court documents.

An investigation by the fire marshal, however, determined that not to be the case. He told police the fire was intentionally started from an open flame source at two separate points on clothing in the closet as well as a piece of paper taped to Santana's bedroom wall, according to the court documents.

Santana, 22, was charged with arson - danger of death or bodily injury, risking a catastrophe and recklessly endangering another person. She was committed to the Berks County Jail on $50,000 bail.

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