Woman jailed for setting motel fire with burning package of ham

A north Alabama woman is jailed on a felony arson charge for setting fire to a package of ham and tossing it into the garbage can at an Athens motel, police say.

Beverly Harrison, 62, is accused of setting the fire that caused an explosion at the Bomar Inn last month, according to Athens police. Officers were called to assist firefighters at the 1101 U.S. 31 motel on Feb. 12 around 9 a.m.

No injuries were reported in the fire, though Harrison’s room was significantly damaged.

“Investigators learned family had brought Harrison a pack of ham to eat and she didn’t want the ham,” police Chief Floyd Johnson said today. “After (the family) left, she set the ham on fire and put it in the garbage can.”

When smoke started filling Harrison’s room, she grabbed her dog and left.

“At no time did she alert anyone to the fire,” Johnson said.

The fire also caused a can of butane fuel to explode, according to police.

Harrison, who was living in the motel, is now held in the Limestone County Jail. If convicted, she could face up to life in prison.

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