19-year-old arrested for setting Prospect business on fire - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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19-year-old arrested for setting Prospect business on fire

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Willow Martin. (State police photo) Willow Martin. (State police photo)

A 19-year-old woman has been charged in connection with an arson case out of Prospect.

State police said Willow Martin of Naugatuck intentionally set a fire back in September that damaged two businesses on Waterbury Road.

Troopers said they began investigating after they received the call about the fire on Sept. 15 around 5 a.m.

Fire departments from Prospect, Bethany and Waterbury responded and extinguished the fire, but not before the Golden Wok Chinese restaurant and Masonry Inc. and Chimney businesses were damaged.

State police were able to determine that the blaze was intentionally set.

With help from the Naugatuck Police Department, troopers said they were able to identify Martin as the suspect.

Detectives learned that Martin had a falling out with her friend, who was the daughter of the masonry company owner. The owner's daughter told state police that Martin loaned her money for clothes which was never paid back.

As a result, the victim told state police that she believed Martin and her boyfriend burglarized her father's business to look for money and then started the fire.

Detectives said Martin went as far as to jam a potato in the tailpipe of the Masonry company owner's vehicle around the time of the fire. They were able to swab the potato for DNA, which led them to Martin.

On Tuesday, the Central District Major Crime Squad arrested Martin, who was already incarcerated in Bergen City Jail in New Jersey on unrelated charges. She was arrested there for trying to pay a toll booth clerk with counterfeit money.

Troopers said she waived extradition and was arrested on two warrants related to the arson case.

Martin was charged with second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit second-degree arson in the first warrant.

In the second, she was charged with second-degree arson, conspiracy to commit second-degree arson, third-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary, possession of burglar's tools, conspiracy to commit possession of burglar's tools, first-degree criminal mischief and conspiracy to commit first-degree criminal mischief.

Martin is being held on bonds totaling $110,000 and is due in court on Wednesday in Waterbury.

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