A woman accused of setting a Charlotte Goodwill store on fire was in court Tuesday morning, where she pleaded guilty.
In federal court, Britney Williams admitted she was the arsonist behind the fire that destroyed much of the Goodwill store on South Boulevard. Williams pleaded guilty to arson and possession of a Molotov cocktail. The convictions could send her to prison for 5 to 10 years.
Eyewitness News spoke with Williams' attorney just after her guilty plea.
"Obviously she's remorseful for what has happened. She was a terminated employee and realizes this was a really bad decision," Julia Mimms said.
Investigators said she and two other men smashed through a door and used that Molotov cocktail to set fire to the Goodwill store where she had worked.
Prosecutors said she was angry about being fired from her job the day before.
Tuesday, Goodwill spokeswoman Holly Cooper called the guilty pleas "sad."
"We are happy that she is admitting to her crime and that hopefully she can move on with her life," Cooper said.
The damage to the donation center and thrift store was extensive. Nearly everything inside the store was ruined by smoke and fire.
Neighbors said the fire had an impact on them, too, since the store was closed for more than six months for repairs. Rita Powell said she was forced to go to other Goodwill stores farther away.
"People that come here and spend their money and then people that bring their stuff here to help other people -- it hurt everybody," Powell said.
Goodwill said it spent half a million dollars to rebuild at the same location.
"Looking at it, it wasn't about us. It was about the community," Cooper said. "We are looking forward to moving forward and putting this behind us."