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Cause of Monroe City motel fire determined; tenant later taken into custody

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A cause has been determined in a fire Thursday night at the Bel-Air Motel in Monroe City.

When the Monroe City Police Department and Monroe City Fire Department responded to Bel-Air Motel and discovered one of the rooms fully engulfed in smoke and flames. The tenant, Shellie Clark from Arvada, Colorado, was not injured and was outside.

Clark told officers she had fallen asleep with a candle lit and discovered her room was on fire.

Officers took Clark to the office lobby area to stay warm while they investigated. While she was in the lobby, she apparently lit some fake plants and other items on fire with a lighter. Officers then took Clark into custody and transported her to the Police Department. She was later transported to the Randolph County Jail on a 24-hour investigative hold for Arson.

The Monroe City Police Department was assisted by the Monroe City Fire Department, Marion County Sheriff's Office, Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Monroe City Ambulance and the Missouri State Fire Marshal's Office.

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