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Published August 15, 2012, 10:41 AM

Man charged with arson in Steele motel fire

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A 50-year-old Texas man has been charged with setting the fire that destroyed the Lone Steer Motel in Steele.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A 50-year-old Texas man has been charged with setting the fire that destroyed the Lone Steer Motel in Steele.

Allen Thomas could spend up to 10 years in prison if he's convicted on the arson charge.

Thomas is from Houston. He's being held in the McLean County jail in Washburn. Thomas has a court hearing scheduled Wednesday so a judge can set his bond.

Steele Police Chief David Feland says Thomas is being held in McLean County because the jails in nearby Burleigh and Morton counties were both full.

State authorities and the federal Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the Sunday morning fire. The federal agency estimates the damage at $1.5 million.

No one was reported injured. The fire displaced about two dozen people.

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