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Fire Victims Sue Man Accused Of Starting Wildfire

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Two victims who lost their home in a wildfire are suing the man accused of starting the blaze west of Fort Collins last April.

Curt Busby and Kelly O’Donnell say fourth-degree arson suspect Thomas Austin Howie was negligent in starting a slash pile on a windy day without a burn permit. The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports the lawsuit was filed last week.

The Coloradoan says Howie was a groundskeeper at the northern Colorado property co-owned by three current and former National Football League players with connections to Fort Collins, as well as Howie’s father Kenneth, a local dentist. All are named in the lawsuit.

The Crystal fire burned about 2,940 acres and at least 13 homes.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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