Sheila Gardner

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August 2, 2012
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Two arrested in burn that started 7,500-acre TRE fire

A Wellington woman and her son were arrested Thursday in connection with the 7,500-acre TRE fire and charged with misdemeanor negligent failure to extinguish a fire.

Kim Carlin, 56, and Steven Cozad, 30, face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of willful or negligent failure to guard or extinguish a fire.

The suspects posted bail and are to appear Aug. 27 in East Fork Justice Court for arraignment.

Douglas County Chief Deputy District Attorney Tom Gregory said Carlin and Cozad were cooperative in the investigation of the fire and turned themselves in Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint, the suspects had a controlled burn on May 20 at 1221 Slate Road and failed to properly extinguish the fire.

If convicted, Gregory said a request for restitution is a possibility. The fire cost an estimated $3.4 million to extinguish. At the height of the blaze, 600 firefighters were on the scene.

Two homes were destroyed, along with 17 other structures and many vehicles.

Gregory asked that anyone who lost property as a result of the fire contact his office.

"We've already reached out to the people we know had property damage, but if anybody else has suffered a loss, they need to give us a call," Gregory said.

The District Attorney's Office can be reached at 782-9800.

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The Record Courier Updated Aug 2, 2012 06:30PM Published Aug 2, 2012 06:27PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.