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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pyro Potty Break: St. Charles Woman Sets Off Sprinklers At Dentist's, Blames $10,000 Water Damage On Burning Napkin

Posted By on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Melissa Reann Frederick
  • Melissa Reann Frederick

Going to the dentist can be a stressful ordeal: You sit with your mouth open and let a stranger poke and jab around in there for a while, which is kind of gross.

But Melissa Reann Frederick never got as far as the chair. During a Monday appointment at St. Charles Dental, police say the 32-year-old St. Charles resident triggered the fire-suppression system while taking a bathroom break.

According to a probable-cause report, Frederick's explanation of her "accident" was, well, very improbable.

Frederick told police she'd accidentally lit a napkin on fire while trying to light the tip of her eye liner pencil, and the sprinklers went off after she dropped the burning napkin in the sink.

The ensuing water damage to the office's drywall, carpet and electronic systems totals more than $10,000, according to court documents.

See also: FBI: Jedidiah Stout Torched Joplin Planned Parenthood, Confessed To Burning Mosque

Police didn't buy Fredrick's story. According to the probable-cause report, a construction contractor told investigators that the sprinkler system is only activated by temperatures at or above 155 degrees, and that it would take fifteen minutes for even a fully burning trash can to trigger the system.

The contractor advised police that Fredrick would have had to stand on the sink or toilet to get close enough to set off the sprinklers, either by using her lighter or by removing the mercury bulb on the sprinkler head itself.

Nothing appears to be known of Frederick's motive. She has been charged for first-degree property damage with a $15,000 bail.

Continue for the full text of the probable cause report.

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