Insurance companies that paid $1.7 million to six homeowners in a fire blamed on a homeless Ashland, Ore. man have sued the owners of a vacant lot where the fire started.
The Ashland Daily Tidings reported the suit alleges the owners had been told vagrants were camping in the overgrown field behind a gasoline station, starting fires and smoking cigarettes.
A lawyer for the owners denies the allegations.
In all, 11 homes were destroyed in the fire in late August 2010. It has been called the worst fire in a century in the southern Oregon town.
A judge found that the man accused of reckless burning, 42-year-old John Thiry, likely set the fire, but prosecutors failed to prove he knew the consequences of his actions. Thiry remains homeless in Ashland.