(Olivia, MN) – A Morton woman is facing criminal charges after a fire broke out in her home last December.

Amanda Nicole Coulson, 26, was charged in Renville County Court Friday with felony first-degree arson.

According to the criminal complaint, Coulson had fulfilled the terms of a Contract for Deed sale of the home she lived in, but the title had not yet been transferred from the original owner.  A witness working near Coulson’s home on December 14th later told police they’d seen her vehicle back into the driveway and over a curb around 11 a.m.  The witness left and returned around 1:30 p.m., noticing that Coulson’s car was gone and smoke was coming from the eave vents, according to the complaint.

According to court documents, Coulson neglected to answer the phone when responders tried to reach her to ask her to return to her home.

An investigation by the state fire marshall found that fire had been intentionally set in five separate locations throughout the home: the living room chair, a bed, a corner in the dining room, the landing to the basement stairway, and in a plastic tote.  Investigators could find no accidental cause of fire.

Coulson’s phone was tracked to be in a half-block radius of her home between 10 a.m. and just before 1 p.m. the day of the fire, according to the complaint.

Court documents say Coulson also surrendered her dog to the Redwood Area Animal Shelter that same day.

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