Woman Arrested On Arson Charge After Potsdam Fire
A former SUNY Canton student is accused of deliberately setting fire to a Potsdam apartment building last month.
Police arrested 22 year old Brandi Saumier of Winthrop.
Saumier was arraigned on second-degree arson charges in Potsdam Court after turning herself in to police Wednesday.
She pleaded not guilty and was remanded to the St. Lawrence County Jail on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.
Saumier allegedly ignited a pile of clothes on the floor of her bedroom at 28 Pierrepont Avenue on October 25.
"There seem to be a lot of reasons that the suspect did what she did, including pressures at school and some other personal factors and reasons," Potsdam Police Lt. Mark Murray said.
She allegedly left the apartment building with nine occupants inside.
The people living there managed to safely flee the burning house.
"A lot of credit goes to the occupants that realized the situation and promptly got the rest of the residents out of the house," Murray said.
Officials said the residents were students at SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton.
Four students lived in the apartment where the fire started.
The building was declared a total loss and was condemned because of structural damage.
Following the fire, Saumier was taken to the mental health unit at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, which could mean she has mental health issues.
"That's something I've got to look at," said defense attorney Peter Dumas. "I've got to turn over every stone to responsibly defend her and that's what we're going to do, plus if she needs the help, she's got to get it."
According to officials, Saumier was studying healthcare management at SUNY Canton, but withdrew from the college after the fire.