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Cox charged with another fire
Dominique Cox 5-18-1998.jpg
Dominique Cox

A McMinnville man accused of intentionally setting a field on fire in July faces another fire-related charge for August. 

Dominique Desean Cox, 23, has been charged with reckless burning after allegedly setting his grandmother’s hotel room on fire. About a month before, on July 28, he was charged with reckless burning after allegedly confessing to setting fire to a field on Magness Drive.

McMinnville Police detective Katelyn Cannon says Cox had been staying at Scottish Inn and was spending the weekend with his grandmother at McMinnville Inn. 

“Cox says he was making rice on a hot plate burner,” said Cannon. “He says he forgot to turn it off. He left the room. When he came back, the room was flooded. The fire melted the pipes under the sink and water went everywhere. It was the burst pipes that actually put out the fire and stopped it from spreading.” 

Cox and his grandmother were staying in local hotels after being displaced on July 19. On that day, the home they shared on Old Viola Road was completely consumed by fire. 

McMinnville Fire Chief Kendall May-field deemed the early morning house fire to be electrical in nature, due to the grandmother’s statements that she had just placed a load of clothes into the washing machine prior to the fire starting in the laundry room. Cox, who was believed to be home at the time and trapped in the blaze, returned on foot and said he had left earlier that morning. 

As for the July 28 incident, witnesses reported seeing Cox run from the Magness Drive field fire and that led to him being questioned. 

McMinnville Police detective Sgt. Eddie Colwell said Cox admitted to setting that fire, “because he thought it would be fun.”

“He denies setting the fire at McMinnville Inn,” said Cannon. “He said it was an accident. Given his history, I wasn’t sure. After discussing the case with the District Attorney’s Office, they wanted to go with reckless burning.”

Cox is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 31 on the charge of reckless burning.