Woman charged with arson for allegedly starting fire in East Liberty Whole Foods stairwell

PITTSBURGH — Police say a Pittsburgh woman tried to start a fire in a stairwell at the Whole Foods in East Liberty.

Meredith Kelly, 27, is charged with arson, criminal mischief and simple trespass for the Tuesday incident.

At around 2:30 a.m., first responders were called to Whole Foods Market along Penn Avenue for a report of a structure fire.

Firefighters found smoke and smoldering debris inside the Euclid Avenue stairwell.

They went through the debris and found burnt cardboard and disposable gloves. Nearby, they found a large amount of soot, several boxes of disposable gloves and a disposable lighter.

An employee who found the fire told officers he saw a woman later identified as Kelly fleeing the stairwell as he was calling 911 to report the fire.

An officer searched the area and found Kelly nearby. She was taken into custody.

Police said a disposable lighter was found in her backpack.

Kelly was arraigned and released on non-monetary bail. She is due in court on Sept. 26.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW