NORTON (CBS) – A Wheaton College student and resident advisor has been arrested and charged in connection with several suspicious dorm fires at the school. Janelys Pimental, 22, was arraigned in Attleboro District Court on Thursday and held without bail.

There have been six fires in the McIntire Residence Hall since late November. The most recent small fire was found in a water fountain in a third-floor common area and put out around 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

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Janelys Pimental in Attleboro court (WBZ-TV)

No one has been hurt. The other fires were set in bathroom trash cans and the laundry room late at night.

Police say Pimental was caught on hidden cameras that were installed last December.

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Fire burning in trash can at Wheaton College residence hall in December 2018. (Image credit Joshua Newsome)

“I appreciate how disturbing these incidents have been,” Dean of Students Kate McCaffrey wrote in a letter to students. “While no one was hurt, and only minimal damage was sustained, these incidents were disruptive—particularly to the residents of McIntire—and they represented a threat to the safety and security of our campus community.”


Pimental faces two counts of arson, four counts of “wantonly injuring real and personal property” and six counts of vandalism. Police said they made the arrest “based on a number of factors including statements made by the suspect.”

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Authorities had offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.