Patient 'set fire to bed' to escape mental health unit


A patient has been accused of setting fire to her bed in order to escape from a mental health unit in Brainerd.

Police and fire crews were called to Essentia Health St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd at 7 p.m. Monday in response to the bed blaze, which is suspected to have been set by a 17-year-old girl to facilitate her escape from the hospital's locked unit.

According to a press release from Brainerd Police Department, the teenager is then said to have fled the area with two others – an 18-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, both from Brainerd.

All three were arrested at around 11 p.m after the vehicle they fled in was located in Becker, Minnesota.

The 17-year-old was taken to a juvenile detention center in Grand Rapids, while the two others were brought to Sherburne County Jail.

None of them have been charged yet, but the incident has been referred to the Crow Wing County Attorney's Office pending formal charges.

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