WATERVILLE — A woman who police say set fires at a downtown construction site told firefighters who responded to the scene that she set her clothes and other items on fire in an effort to warm herself, according to a fire investigator affidavit obtained Friday.

But Alisa Carey, a 21-year-old Waterville resident, also told investigators after being taken to a hospital that she burned a bag of marijuana because she was upset that it was of poor quality, the affidavit said.

She told police that she kept lighting fires Monday at the site of Colby College’s Paul J. Schupf Art Center but she didn’t know why. She was treated at the hospital for burns to her hands.

Carey also said that she had been trying to get pain medication from the hospital for days but it “hadn’t worked,” according to the affidavit.

After Carey was told at the hospital that she was under arrest, she struck a state fire marshal investigator in the face and also hit a Waterville police officer.

She was charged with arson and two counts of assault on an officer.

Carey is on probation for a prior arson offense. She has been arrested twice in the past for apartment fires in Waterville, according to Shannon Moss, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Police found several fires at the construction site when they arrived Monday.

There was fire damage to a large dumpster, clothing, a wooden door, a window and a pallet of construction studs estimated to be worth between $1,000 and $2,000, the affidavit said.

The frame of the arts center sustained minimal damage and no construction delays were expected.

Police responded to the area of Main and Front streets around 7:45 p.m. after receiving a complaint of a woman yelling and screaming for over an hour near portable toilets at the construction site, according to the affidavit.

Carey remains at the Kennebec County Jail with a bail of $10,000.

Construction of the Paul J. Schupf Art Center is expected to be completed next fall. It will feature an art gallery, studios and cinemas, among other attractions.

Kennebec Journal staff writer Keith Edwards contributed to this report.

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