‘I’m sorry, I had to do it’: Judge found woman not competent after torching Dorchester home

BOSTON — A 45-year-old Boston woman is facing one count of arson after she was accused of starting a fire in a Dorchester triple-decker where she lives, according to District Attorney Kevin Hayden.

Nikea Rivera was arraigned on Tuesday in connection with the two-alarm fire at 74 Mora St., which started shortly after 11 a.m. According to Hayden, Rivera told police that she had to start the fire because “that house is haunted.”

“The devil made me do it, there are ghosts in my house,” Rivera told booking officers.

Boston firefighters scrambled to rescue several residents after the wood-frame home went up in flames, according to the Boston Fire Department. Two residents who live on the second floor of the house had to be rescued on ground ladders as a result of the fire. One of those people was transported to an area hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

“It’s fortunate that this woman’s actions did not result in any residents or responders being seriously injured or killed. Her statements are obviously disturbing and an immediate evaluation is the proper next step,” Hayden said.

Rivera appeared in court on Friday morning and the judge found her not competent and will continue to be committed at the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, according to Hayden.

Rivera will appear back in court on February 14.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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