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Staff report, Published March 03 2009

Grand Forks mom accused of starting house fire with hot meth pipes pleads not guilty

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - A mother charged in connection with a fire that gutted the duplex here she and her children lived in pleaded not guilty Monday.

Roxanne Halvorson, 38, is charged with being an accomplice to making methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and endangerment of children.

Halvorson is alleged to have allowed her nephew, Derik Ostlund, and his acquaintance, Candy Reed, to cook and smoke meth in a bedroom in her apartment on North Third Street.

Hot meth pipes appear to have started the November fire, according to court documents. No one was seriously injured in the blaze that left nine people without homes.

Halvorson has a pretrial conference April 16.

Reed has pleaded guilty to making meth and reckless endangerment. She is slated to be sentenced April 15.

Ostlund has pleaded not guilty to charges of making meth, theft, reckless endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia. His pretrial conference is set for April 2.

The Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.