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Charges: 'If it burns, it burns,' woman said before lighting car on fire near garages

Briana Page wanted on arson charges after blaze causes $85,000 in damage.

dilworth fire.jpg
A fire damaged apartment garages and vehicles in Dilworth on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. Photo provided by the Dilworth Police Department
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DILWORTH, Minn. — A Dilworth woman is wanted on suspicion of starting a car fire that damaged several apartment garages in November.

The Clay County Attorney’s Office filed two arson counts and a negligent fire charge last week against 32-year-old Briana Dale Page. The felonies stem from a Nov. 9 fire that caused about $85,000 in damage to several apartment garages at 102 5th St. N.W.

Witnesses told investigators that Page acknowledged setting the fire to a car in which she lived, according to a criminal complaint. One witness said they saw Page light a notebook on fire before throwing it inside the vehicle, the complaint said.

Page told police she put a lit cigarette in a “book with thin paper,” closed it and thought, “if it burns, it burns” before putting the notebook in the car, the complaint said.

A nearby apartment building was evacuated. Two vehicles and several residents’ property were lost in the blaze, police said.

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Page had not been booked into Clay County Jail as of late Tuesday afternoon, April 12.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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