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Minot woman charged with deliberately setting room at Economy Hotel on fire

Andrea Johnson/MDN The Economy Hotel in Minot is pictured on Monday. A woman is charged in district court in Minot with deliberately setting a fire in one of the rooms at the hotel on Saturday night. One hotel employee had to be treated for smoke inhalation after trying to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.

Renee Johnson Delorme, 44, Minot, is accused of deliberately setting a room at the Economy Hotel, located at 225 22nd Avenue NW, on fire at 10:40 p.m. Saturday.

One hotel employee was treated for smoke inhalation after entering the room and trying to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher, according to the City of Minot, and the Minot Fire Department put out the fire.

Delorme is charged in district court in Minot with Class C felony endangering by fire. She made an initial appearance in court on Monday, where Judge Gary Lee set bond at $5,000 cash or corporate surety and a preliminary hearing date for March 25.

Delorme complained to the judge that she had not been allowed to contact someone to bond her out or make a call to a lawyer. She said she wants to apply for a public defender but did not have her glasses with her and could not see to fill out the form. Lee told her those were matters to take up with the jail and with her lawyer when she gets one. Delorme said she has not been in serious trouble before.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed with the court, the fire inspector found an extra small female shirt and a paper towel wrapped around a cord that was plugged into the wall in Room 232. It was believed to be the cause of the fire. Room 234 was also damaged by the fire.

Delorme told police that a man had been inside the room when she left. She said the man had been yelling at her and that the fire alarm was going off by the time she made it to the stairway. She mumbled something about running away from the room and said she was scared of the man. However, Delorme pulled the fire alarm before she left the building, showing that she knew there was a fire in the room. Delorme was the only person who had been seen entering or exiting Room 232 prior to the door being entered by a hotel employee to put out the fire.

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