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Storage unit tenant still reeling from alleged arson fire

Thomas Smith is charged with arson and burglary of several Lok-Safe storage units.
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 9:37 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - One tenant is still reeling in the aftermath of an alleged arson fire in March that destroyed 33 storage units on Green Bay’s west side.

RELATED: UPDATE: Suspect in storage unit fire hit with more arson, burglary charges

As Action 2 News first reported Wednesday, Thomas Smith is charged with arson and burglary of several Lok-Safe storage units and several other hits to storage units in northeast Wisconsin.

“It’s like I go to get something or look for something and I don’t have it here; it was in the fire. Every day there’s something else,” said Jean O’Connell, who rented one of the storage units and is still dealing with the physical and emotional damage left behind.

“I was the second one in. I was number 104. I had everything in there that a person would keep in a closet, garage or their basement.”

According to the criminal complaint, the fire in March caused more than $400,000 in damage, but for O’Connell, she had some stuff stored that was priceless.

“I had pictures and family heirloom type things that are just gone…gone,” said O’Connell.

She listened in on Smith’s court hearing on Wednesday in hopes that justice will be served.

“I didn’t think he should have bond. It’s really frustrating and makes me mad now, knowing what happened.”

Bond was set at $50,000. Smith is expected to be back in court on Friday as the district attorney works on filing more charges.

It has left O’Connell wondering what else she needs to replace.

“I’m still dealing with all the repercussions from it because I’ve hardly replaced anything that I had, and plus I have to get another storage unit now. It’s something I think about every day,” said O’Connell.

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