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Arson Suspect Charged Following Deep Gap Fire Wednesday Night

Paulina Chakmakis

On Wednesday night at 7:05 pm, fire departments from Deep Gap, Stewart Simmons, Boone, Todd, Watauga Medics, Watauga Fire Marshal’s Office, and Watauga County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 257 SPI Road in Deep Gap for a residential structure fire.  

The first arriving Deputy located a female with a bottle of lighter fluid and a lighter. The Female was actively setting fire and was detained immediately. Upon arrival, fire units found the fire had been mostly extinguished by Watauga Sheriff’s Office deputies.  No injuries were reported. There was minor damage to the structure and the fire was found to be incendiary in nature. 

​A Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Investigator was called to the scene and met with the Fire Marshal to begin their investigation.

The female at the same, Paulina Chakmakis, was taken into custody. Chakmakis, 30, was living in the neighborhood and she refused to speak with Investigators. Chakmakis was charged with, first-degree arson, exposing children to fire, child abuse, damage to property, and two counts of resist, delay and obstructing a public officer.

Chakmakis was taken before the Magistrate and received a $100,000 secured bond.