IMG_7046.jpg (copy)

Michelle L. Bullock was arrested after allegedly admitting to starting a fire at 17 Adam St. on Thursday evening. She was ordered to undergo an evaluation to determine whether she is competent to stand trial. 

PITTSFIELD — A city woman arrested after allegedly admitting to starting a fire in her apartment at 17 Adam St. on Thursday evening was ordered to undergo an evaluation to determine whether she is competent to stand trial.

Michelle L. Bullock, whose address is listed in court documents as 17 Adam St. Apt. B, was arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on Friday on a charge of arson of a dwelling.

On Thursday, an EMT responding to the fire said Bullock had climbed out of a window of the multiunit apartment building and began “running away” from the scene, according to Officer William Straub in a report. There were no reported injuries, but six people were displaced in the blaze that a fire official said took about 30 minutes to put down.

Police stopped Bullock, 43, and read to her her rights against self incrimination, then Bullock allegedly told a fire investigator that she was suicidal and had set the fire.

It was the second time police arrested Bullock this week.

Just one day before the fire, court documents show, Bullock was taken into custody by an officer who alleged she grabbed a brick from the under-construction First United Methodist Church on Fenn Street and threw it at his cruiser.

She was charged with vandalizing property, but court documents indicate she failed to appear for her District Court arraignment that was scheduled for Thursday, several hours before the fire, and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Detective Jeffrey Arena asked that Bullock be held in custody pending a dangerousness hearing and receive a mental health evaluation because of her “erratic and dangerous behavior,” according to his report. He said Bullock also faces a separate charge of burning personal property in Worcester District Court.

At the request of defense attorney Catherine McNamara, Bullock was evaluated by a doctor who found she would “benefit from continued stabilization,” according to court documents. The court also ordered Bullock to receive another evaluation to determine whether she is competent to stand trial.

Assistant District Attorney Mrinalini Bhaumik filed a motion requesting that Bullock be held without bail under the state’s dangerousness statute.

Bullock is in custody at the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital.

Amanda Burke can be reached at aburke@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.