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1991 Calaveras Co. fire death investigation reopened

1:11 PM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
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ROMULUS, N.Y. (AP) - Police in California have reopened an investigation into a 1991 fire that killed the wife of an upstate New York man recently charged with murdering his son. 

The Calaveras County sheriff's office said Wednesday they are interviewing people about the 1991 fire in Northern California that killed Christena Karlsen, a 30-year-old mother of three young children. Her husband, Karl Karlsen, said then it was caused by a kerosene spill.

In the California Department of Forestry report of the fire, investigators said it was likely caused by a heat source (lamp) placed too close to combustible liquid. Also, the investigation found the smoke detector had been disconnected.  

Karl Karlsen was charged last month with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of insurance fraud in the 2008 death of his son Levi Karlsen. Levi Karlsen was crushed beneath a truck he was working on in the Finger Lakes. 

New York police recently learned about a life insurance policy on 23-year-old Levi Karlsen taken out days before his death.

The Associated Press and News10/KXTV

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