The man accused of arson and insurance fraud in the case of a Lyons house fire pleaded not guilty to a seven-count indictment Tuesday in Fulton County Common Pleas Court.
Rick T. Lamb Jr. attended an initial appearance with his court-appointed attorney, Thomas Molitierno, at 2 p.m. before Judge James E. Barber. Lamb’s wife, Desteny, posted 10 percent of a $5,000 bond.
Lamb’s pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5 at 11 a.m.
He faces seven counts in the case, including arson, aggravated arson, insurance fraud, grand theft, and telecommunications fraud. All are felony offenses.
He is charged with starting a fire Jan. 3 at a rental home at 104 Ash St. in Lyons, where he and his family were staying. The blaze broke out about 5:30 pm., after Lamb, his wife, and two children had left the residence to attend a family event at a Holland, Ohio steakhouse. It was extinguished by Lyons Royalton, Wauseon, Morenci, Mich., and Fairfield Township, Mich., fire crews, but not before gutting the house and causing an estimated $100,000 damage.
Afterward, Lamb accepted donations of clothing, furniture, and toys from firefighters and community members. He admitted to selling a couple of the items to raise money.
His mother, Melissa, established the Lamb Fire Victim Fund at First Federal Bank in Wauseon.
Lamb steadfastly maintains his innocence, and suggested in an interview with the Expositor that an investigation of the fire by local authorities, the state fire marshal, and Nationwide Insurance was biased. He threatened to file lawsuits against the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the state fire marshal, and the insurance company when he’s found innocent.
David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.