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2 lawsuits filed in western Michigan apartment complex fire sparked by squirrel dinner prep

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HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Michigan — Two lawsuits are pending in the case of an apartment complex fire sparked by a tenant who tried to cook a squirrel with a propane torch.

While on the balcony of his unit at Clearview Apartments in Holland Township, Khek Chanthalavong used the torch to burn off the squirrel's fur as he prepared to cook the rodent. Chanthalavong shared the apartment with Barbara Pellow.

The Grand Rapids Press reports the suits were filed in Ottawa County Circuit Court by insurance companies that covered damages after the October 2012 fire.

Travelers Indemnity Company is suing Pellow for $2 million, and Auto Owners Insurance Company is seeking the $56,000 it paid to three renters.

The Holland Sentinel says Chanthalavong's attorney had no comment. The Associated Press left a message for her Friday.

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