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Forum staff reports, Published January 26 2011

Police: Man accused in fire smelled of fuel

ADA, Minn. – Police say the man who is charged with arson in a fire Saturday at a senior center in Ada wore a jacket smelling like gasoline when he was arrested leaving the burning building.

Jason Timothy Campbell, 31, Ada, is accused of starting the early morning fire at the activity center for seniors, which was damaged badly enough it has not reopened, Ada Police Chief Wade Krohmer said.

Court records filed Monday allege Krohmer found Campbell exiting the center holding a pair of coolers, wearing a jacket that smelled of fuel.

Krohmer said the coolers had food in them, and that Campbell was also taking a television from the center.

Campbell made his first appearance in Norman County District Court on the arson charge Tuesday.

Unconditional bail was set at $250,000 cash. With conditions – including staying at least a block away from the senior center – bail was set at $500,000 bond or $50,000 cash.

His next hearing was set for Feb. 23.

State fire investigators have determined the fire at the center was intentionally set, Krohmer said. Court records say the blaze appeared to have started on a basement cabinet.

An earlier fire the same morning at a residence two blocks away from the senior center might be linked and is being investigated as a potential arson, the police chief said.