Search warrant: Longview woman found holding lighter fluid outside burning apartment

Search warrant: Longview woman found holding lighter fluid outside burning apartment
Kimberly Nicole Bruton (Source: Gregg Co. Judicial Records)
Burned structure in the 100 block of Cherie Lane
Burned structure in the 100 block of Cherie Lane

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - When Longview firefighters arrived at an apartment on Cherie Lane just before midnight on March 9, they found a woman standing outside holding a bottle of charcoal lighter fluid, according to a search warrant.

The warrant says that Kimberly Nicole Bruton, 32, told firefighters, "she was trying to start a fire in the fireplace."

Bruton was arrested and charged with arson. She was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond the next day. The street name given on her arrest record matches the street where firefighters extinguished the blaze in the 100 block of Cherie Lane.

The search warrant says that when a firefighter entered the structure to put out the fire, he found, "one body on the bed in the right front bedroom, and the second was located on the floor near the back door of the residence."

The bodies of Randall Russell and Lisa Tesmer, tenants in the burned apartment, were identified by Longview Fire Department on March 16.

A search warrant issued March 10, instructed investigators to collect evidence of the circumstances and cause of the fire.

A typed list of what was collected while executing the search warrant lists "cell phones, tablets, wallet w/contents, fire extinguisher, and fire debris," according to the return dated March 14. At the bottom of the typed list, written by hand, are the words, "human corpses."

The cause of the fire, as well as how Russell and Tesmer died, remains under investigation.

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