Waterbury woman accused of accidentally starting Naugatuck fire

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NAUGATUCK — Police arrested a Waterbury woman Friday on charges her cigarette started a Cherry Street fire two years ago that displaced 15 people and injured a firefighter and a police officer.

Dawn Rohlman, 46, of 212 West Main St., was living in an apartment at 92 Cherry St. in the borough on April 14, 2010, when a fire ripped through six apartments, including hers, and a store.

Investigators determined the fire started in Rohlman’s room, where she admitted she was smoking before she left the building and the fire ignited.

Detectives and fire marshals noticed scorch marks on furniture and in Rohlman’s bedroom from smaller, self-extinguished fires, which Rohlman said she had started several times in the past by leaving lit cigarettes unattended, police spokesman Lt. Robert Harrison said.

The cause of the fire remains accidental, but police determined Rohlman’s lack of attention to her cigarettes merited a first-degree reckless endangerment charge, Harrison said.

She was held on a $2,500 bond to appear Feb. 14 in Waterbury Superior Court.