Prison escapee charged with lighting Broome Primary School fire

The West Australian
VideoA 22-year-old prison escapee has been charged with setting fire to Broome Primary School causing up to $5 million damage

A woman who escaped from a Broome prison on Sunday has been charged with lighting a fire that caused millions of dollars of damage at a primary school a few hours later.

Broome Regional Prison officers discovered 22-year-old Maude Dixon was missing from her cell after it was set on fire just before 2pm.

Shortly after 4pm firefighters were called to a blaze at Broome Primary school.

With dozens of stunned residents looking form the wire perimeter fence, thick black smoke was followed by fire which ripped through an entire wing of the school within minutes.

The fire is believed to have caused up to $5 million damage to the 121-year-old school.

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The nearby Broome Hospital was partially evacuated during the fire.

At about 8.20pm Ms Dixon was arrested at a Broome caravan park.

She has been charged with two counts of criminal damage by fire as well as escaping lawful custody and is due to face Broome Magistrate's Court today.

Arson squad detectives will be travelling to Broome this morning to visit the fire scene.

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