Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

October 12, 2012

Woman charged in June 6 fire

Reed faces arson with intent to defraud, a Class C felony charge.

By Mike Fletcher
Tribune staff writer

Kokomo — Police are accusing a Kokomo woman of setting fire to her southside home June 6.

Tamara L. Reed, 29, initially denied any involvement in the blaze, then admitted to investigators of the State Fire Marshal’s Office that she had started the fire, according to a probable cause affidavit. Tamara said her husband, Scott Reed, made her set the fire, the affidavit reads.

The investigation resulted in the issuance of an arrest warrant Friday.

Sheriff deputies arrested Tamara Reed Wednesday at her trailer home in the 1500 block of West Markland Avenue, on a warrant for Class C felony charges of arson with intent to defraud and conspiracy to commit arson with the intent to defraud.

She remains jailed on a $15,000 bail awaiting an Oct. 18 initial hearing.

If convicted, she could face up to eight years on each charge.

When fire crews responded to the fire on the afternoon of June 6 at 1509 S. Cooper St., they found flames and smoke coming the house. No one was inside at the time.

The Kokomo Fire Department ruled the cause of the fire as electrical, saying it started in the ceiling above the southwest bedroom. But an investigation by Indiana Basic Property Insurance revealed three small fires had been set in the home and the fire had not been an accidental electrical fire as KFD ruled.

The company then called the State Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate.

The probable cause stated the investigation revealed that Tamara Reed initially denied having anything to do with the fire, then admitted she started the fire.

According to the court document, Tamara said she started a fire in the closet in the southwest bedroom by using lamp oil.

She started another fire behind the washer and dryer using lamp oil. The last fire was set on the sofa in the living room.

The affidavit also stated Tamara claimed she started the fires because Scott made her and said that if she refused he would take the kids away and she would never see them again.

She also told investigators that Scott had offered another man $1,000 to set fire to the home.

The investigation also revealed that after the fire, the owner, Scott Reed, had removed all the exterior siding and interior dry wall.

The affidavit also stated that Scott Reed removed the electrical panel and all the circuit breakers. The water heater and furnace also had been removed as well as all of the electrical outlets and switches.

When interviewed, Scott Reed said he had nothing to do with the fire and said he never talked to anyone about the fire.

He has not been charged in the case.

Damage to the structure was estimated at $50,000 and the contents were estimated at $25,000, according to court records.