CORVALLIS - A 19-year-old Oregon State University student was taken into custody Monday afternoon in connection with a series of fires at Sackett Hall, an OSU residence hall housing 270 students. Carey Elizabeth Bruce, a sophomore from Newberg, Ore., and a resident of Sackett, was detained and released into custody of her parents.
Seven charges of first degree arson will be filed through the District Attorney's Office in Benton County Circuit Court, according to Lt. Jack Rogers of the Oregon State Police. First degree arson is a Class A felony, carrying a maximum penalty of $300,000 and 20 years in prison.
"The investigation is a credit to the students of Sackett Hall and everyone else who assisted," Rogers said. The investigation was conducted by the Oregon State Police and members of its arson investigation team, with assistance from the Corvallis Fire Department, OSU Security Services, and OSU's University Housing and Dining Services.
A total of seven fires were set at Sackett Hall from Oct. 11 through Nov. 22.
Paulette Ratchford, the associate director of University Housing and Dining, said the students of Sackett Hall are "greatly relieved" to bring the incidents to a close.
"Sackett is a close-knit community and the students are drawn together," she said. "Now they can enjoy their Thanksgiving and begin focusing on their upcoming finals."