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Phillips facing arson charge for fire (UPDATE: charges dismissed - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Phillips facing arson charge for fire (UPDATE: charges dismissed)

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GREAT FALLS -

(UPDATE, 1:17 p.m.) Phillips made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday afternoon, and the charges against him were dismissed.

The charges were dismissed without prejudice, which means that charges could be refiled against Phillips if new evidence indicates that he started the fire.

We will update you when we get more information.


(1st Report, 11:57 a.m.) Rodney Earl Phillips is facing two counts of felony arson in connection with Monday night's fire at an apartment building.

The fire was reported just after 11 p.m. at 118 9th Street South.

There were no serious injuries in the fire, although one person is believed to have been treated for smoke inhalation.

Great Falls firefighters and police officers found Phillips in the stairwell of one of the apartments, and he refused to leave, according to court documents.

Once he was escorted out, he told a police officer that someone had thrown something through his window that exploded and started the fire.

The investigation into the fire determined that there "was no competent ignition sources," and Great Falls Fire Marshal Dirk Johnson says that the fire was intentionally set.

There is no word yet on a possible motive.

Court documents note that he is a "multi-state" offender.

RELATED: No serious injuries in overnight fire

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