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Published: Thursday, 6/28/2007

Arsonist is sentenced in West Toledo house fire

A Wauseon woman convicted of arson for setting a blaze last year at her former residence in West Toledo was sentenced yesterday to five years community control, including 30 days work-release.

Debra Smith, 49, pleaded no contest to arson May 21 and was found guilty by Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Gary Cook, who yesterday dismissed a second charge of aggravated arson.

After she completes work-release, Smith is to serve 30 days in electronic monitoring and pay $111,000 in restitution to her insurance company.

Smith and her three daughters were displaced after the May 29, 2006, fire, which caused about $70,000 damage to their two-story house at 4116 Willys Pkwy. A fire investigator said someone poured gas in the first-floor living and dining rooms and then ignited it. No one was home at the time of the fire.

It was the second time in the same day that firefighters were at the house. About 12 hours earlier, there was an unrelated, minor fire in the basement, which investigators also believed was intentionally set. Smith was not charged for the first fire.

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