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Published October 02, 2012, 08:53 AM

Steele hotel arson suspect now faces more felony charges

STEELE, N.D. (AP) — A Texas man accused of burning down a hotel in North Dakota now faces 19 felony charges.

STEELE, N.D. (AP) — A Texas man accused of burning down a hotel in North Dakota now faces 19 felony charges.

Fifty-year-old Allen Thomas was charged earlier with arson in the Aug. 12 fire at the Lone Steer Motel in Steele. The Houston man now also faces 18 counts of endangering by fire or explosion. All of the charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison upon conviction.

No one was hurt in the fire but about two dozen people were displaced. Authorities have said little about why Thomas is believed to have started the blaze.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Thomas made his initial court appearance on the new charges Monday. He was given an application for a public defender.

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