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As Amanda Bynes undergoes mental evaluation in a California hospital, new information is emerging on the troubled star’s psychological state after she sparked a small blaze in the driveway of Thousand Oaks, Calif., residence, accidentally setting herself on fire in the process.
Bynes, 27, was placed on a 72-hour involuntary psychiatric hold — dubbed a “5150” under a section of the California Welfare and Institutions Code — on Monday night, when the fire department and the police were called to scene where the actress, armed with a can of gasoline, lit a fire in the driveway of an elderly woman’s home.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, Sgt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said Bynes was transferred to a hospital after officers “determined that she met the criteria of a 5150,” meaning that individuals “make statements that they’re either a danger to themselves or others, or gravely disabled.”
Buschow, ruling out arson, added that this was “not a deliberate attempt to set a house on fire.” There was no damage to the home, which belongs to 73-year-old Bonnie Braaten, who has no association or relationship with Bynes.
On Wednesday, nearly 48 hours into Bynes’ hospitalization, a batch of fresh developments have surfaced to shed further insight into her latest public display of bizarre behavior. In no particular order:
1. Bynes caught fire — accidentally. The Los Angeles Times reports that Thousand Oaks resident Andrew Liverpool called 911 after spotting the actress “lying down here with her left pant leg on fire, and there is this gas can right here and it is trailing fire.” As he and others rushed to help, Bynes fled and tried to hail a taxi the next block over; Liverpool advised the cabbie not to pick her up. Bynes alleged that her dog had been burned.
2. She hustled to a nearby liquor store to rinse off her gasoline-drenched Pomeranian. Surveillance footage posted by TMZ shows Bynes, sporting a blonde wig, entering the establishment with her pet moments after using a can of gas to set the driveway ablaze. She made a beeline for the employee-only section; she allegedly “freaked out” and left the premises when a cashier found her washing the dog in the sink. Afterward, police tracked her down and sent her to the hospital.
3. There are reportedly “signs of schizophrenia.” TMZ quotes sources as saying that doctors are seeking to extend the 5150 hold another two weeks in order to accurately diagnose Bynes, who is showing schizophrenic behavior. According to the site, Bynes’ parents have decided to file a request in court to get her placed under conservatorship, where they would likely control her affairs after she is deemed to be unable to care for herself.
4. Braaten is baffled. The homeowner tells People she’s not aware of “anyone who would be angry with me enough to set a fire in my driveway.” Adds Braaten, who had been watching the TV series Major Crimes at the time, “I hope she gets some help.”
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