Oregon Insurers Sue Landowners in Ashland Fire

November 13, 2012

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.

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Latest Comments

  • November 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm
    bob says:
    I suspect the "deep pocket" theory might prevail here if the there is any documentation that the lot owner failed to keep the weeds down afer being warned of the hazard. but h... read more
  • November 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm
    Ruminator says:
    How does anyone not know that a fire can cause damage?
  • November 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    NIGEL NEGLIGENT says:
    Maybe some owner liability if he invited the man to stay and camp there, and gave permission to have fires.
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