Oregon Father Charged $7,500 after Fire Kills Son

July 17, 2008

An unemployed man whose 4-year-old boy died in a fire last year at a rented duplex in Springfield now faces a $7,500 bill for damages.

The boy’s father, 24-year-old Kevin Freeman, is facing a small claims suit filed by a collection agency that took over the debt from Umbrella Properties, the firm that owns the rental.

A fire investigation determined Freeman placed fireworks in a second-floor walk-in closet on July 3, 2007.

His son, Caleb, ignited them early the next morning while the family slept.

Several family members were injured trying to save the boy, who was at the back of the closet with the intense fire blocking his escape.

Freeman is jobless with a back injury, and says he cannot afford any more bills.

The property management firm owner says it usually tries to reach a compromise over damages but Freeman never responded to the bill for damages.

Source: The Register-Guard.

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