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Suspect Arrested in Triple Fatal House Fire [Video]

Suspect Arrested in Triple Fatal House Fire [Video]


News-Leader via YellowBrix

March 17, 2010

Springfield Fire Marshal Kevin Binam said the fire originated on the first floor. The second floor had a smoke detector with a battery, but no one reported hearing any alarm, he said.

The two-story house, owned by Nancy Preffitt, is likely a total loss. Neighbors say it had recently been renovated and the family moved in just two weeks ago. Preffitt said her insurance company asked her not to talk about the incident. According to the Greene County Assessor’s Web site, the house was appraised at about $30,000.

Michael Wardell —Williams’ employer —and his wife, Nikki, set up a fund for the family. Those interested in donating can go to any Commerce Bank branch or call Kathy Coley at 837-5473.

Williams is a registered sex offender. Wardell, who plans to run for Congress, said Tuesday he knew about Williams’ past when he hired him for the barbecue stand Wardell owns. Wardell said Williams was 17 when he was accused of statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. Wardell said he was convicted as an 18-year-old, had done his time and was working to turn his life around.

“Before you place judgment on him, you should know his label of ‘sex offender’ is one of the least offensive judgments,” Wardell wrote in his blog in reaction to inquiries. “They were a boy and a girl taking it further than they should have.”