County woman faces charges in February blaze

Published 7:43 am Thursday, July 30, 2015

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A Carter County woman faces felony charges following an indictment in connection with a fire that damaged a home earlier this year.
Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department arrested April Elizabeth Beam, 42, of 2425 Old Lewis Road, Johnson City, Monday on an indictment out of Criminal Court charging her with one count each of arson and making a fraudulent insurance claim.
On Feb. 25, volunteer firefighters were summoned to a fire at a home in the Stoney Creek community. The fire was reported to Carter County 911 by a third party, who was not at the home, CCSD Public Information Officer Sgt. Mike Carlock said.
When firefighters arrived, they found no one was home and the doors were locked, Carlock said.
“The firefighters had to break in,” he said.
While firefighters battled the blaze, they noticed some things that were suspicious and contacted the Sheriff’s Department to investigate, Carlock said.
“Through the investigation, it was determined that accelerants were used,” Carlock said.
The indictment alleges that Beam “did knowingly damage a structure by means of a fire or explosion with intent to destroy or damage the structure to collect insurance for the damage.” Arson is categorized as a “Class C Felony” under state law.
In reference to the insurance fraud charge, Carlock said following the fire Beam filed an insurance claim on the home.
The indictment alleges Beam filed a fraudulent insurance claim in April, with a value of the claim being between $10,000 and $60,000. Filing a fraudulent insurance claim is also categorized as a “Class C Felony” under state law.
Officers booked Beam into the Carter County Detention Center on Monday but was released on Tuesday after posting a $10,000 bond through a bonding agency.
Beam is scheduled to appear in Carter County Criminal Court on Sept. 21.

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