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Newport’s City Center Motel Fire was caused by an act of reckless burning, according to criminal charges.

City Center Motel Fire
last Aug. 5, Highway 101, Newport. Four dead.
Echo Morris photo

Rebecca Sinclair, 39
Manslaughter x 4
Negligent homicide x 4
Reckless burning


It took 9 months for all the evidence to come together and for a suspect to be named in connection with the deadly fire last August in Newport that leveled a motel and killed four guests and injured others.

Rebecca Sinclair, 39, appeared in Lincoln County Circuit Court this week to face four counts of Manslaughter, four counts of Negligent Homicide, and 1 count of Reckless Burning. No specific method of reckless burning has been released by authorities but the fire was initially reported to have spread from where the two wings of the motel came together.

Sinclair was arraigned on the charges this week for causing the fire that claimed the lives of four guests in the motel; Tammy Sue Heppner, 51 and Allen Heppner 62, both from Portland. Also Sandra Shoemaker, 60 and Danny Shoemaker, 64, both from Springfield.

Sinclair is being held in the Lincoln County Jail on 750,000 bail.

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