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Woman charged with arson in West Plains blaze

Wed., Aug. 12, 2009, 5:37 p.m.

A woman convicted of setting a grass fire at a mobile home park last September is accused of torching the same area with a single match Monday night.

Carol J. Haloburdo, 53, is in Spokane County Jail on $20,000 bond, charged with second-degree reckless burning for a fire that threatened homes, business and heavy timber along Sunset Highway on the West Plains.

An off-duty firefighter, Cameron Bergin, spotted Haloburdo within minutes of the fire erupting at 5314 W. Sunset, where she lives with her boyfriend, according to a probable cause affidavit. Bergin knew Haloburdo from his job with Spokane County Fire District 10.

Haloburdo told investigators she was in an abusive relationship and “when the cutting does not help she sets fires to help ease the pain,” according to the affidavit.

A book of matches fell from her blouse as a Spokane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Gladden walked her to his patrol car to take her for psychological evaluation. One match was missing.

Haloburdo was sentenced to 90 days in jail and two years probation after pleading guilty to second-degree reckless burning in February.

The fire occurred at the Hilltop Mobile Home Park, the same place Monday’s fire did.

Haloburdo was suspected of setting at least nine other fires in that same area last year but never prosecuted, according to the affidavit.

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