Longview woman indicted for arson causing death, found holding lighter fluid outside burning apartment

Updated: Aug. 17, 2018 at 8:55 AM CDT
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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Longview woman has been indicted for purposefully setting fire to an apartment building causing the death of two tenants.

Kimberly Nicole Bruton, 33, was arrested in March after officials found her standing outside holding a bottle of charcoal lighter fluid at the apartment building located on Cherie Lane.

According to a search warrant, Bruton 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.

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

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."

Bruton was indicted in early August for the charge of Arson causing death.

Related stories:

Longview Fire Department identifies two people found dead after fire

Longview fire still under investigation

Two killed in residential fire in Longview

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