Holland woman on hook up to $2M after squirrel torching caused fire

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LANSING, Mich. (AP/WXMI) — The Michigan Court of Appeals says a woman whose boyfriend started a huge apartment building fire while preparing to cook a squirrel is liable for up to $2 million in damages.

Court documents received by FOX 17 show the court reversed an earlier ruling that limited Barbara Pellow’s damages to about $15,000.

Authorities say Pellow’s boyfriend in 2012 was using a torch to burn the fur off a squirrel while on a deck at Clearview Apartments in Ottawa County’s Holland Township. He planned to cook the squirrel, but left the torch burning and it sparked the fire.  Pellow was asleep at the time the fire started.

The flames damaged 32 units in the building. Travelers Indemnity Company paid more than $2 million for repairs and sued Pellow to recover costs since she was registered tenant, not the boyfriend.  They had been living at the complex since 2009.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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