Erin Micco, a Florida native who recently lived in Rutherford, was charged with two counts of aggravated arson in the Tuesday morning fire on Pearl Street, they said.
None of the squatters were injured in the two-alarm blaze, which was set shortly after 8:30 a.m., Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora and Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott said in a joint statement.
The fire, which destroyed the 2½-story home and damaged a neighboring residence, took nearly six hours to douse, responders said.
Micco has a criminal history that dates back to 2012. Records show she served time for grand theft and trafficking in stolen property in Florida, among other offenses, and was charged in Paterson with making terroristic threats two years ago.
Authorities sent her to the Passaic County Jail pending a first appearance Wednesday in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson.
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