By News-Register staff • 

Two teens arrested for fatal fire; grandson of deceased faces murder charge

Rockne Roll/News-Register##Investigators work at the scene of an early Wednesday morning fire on Tenbush Lane in rural Willamina.
Rockne Roll/News-Register##Investigators work at the scene of an early Wednesday morning fire on Tenbush Lane in rural Willamina.

[Updated 6/15/18 4:30 p.m.] Willamina - Two teenagers have been arraigned on charges related to a Wednesday morning residence fire in rural Willamina in which one man died.

One, Nicholas Aulig, is the grandson of the man believed to have died in the fire, identified by the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office as Dieter H. Aulig, 79. His grandmother, Theresa Aulig, suffered non-life threatening burns to her upper body and was treated and released.

Investigators originally feared the 14-year-old Aulig may have been injured in the fire. He was located later uninjured at a friend's residence in Willamina.

A second suspect, Jacob Thomas Brooks, 15, of Willamina, was arrested early Thursday morning and arraigned on charges of attempted first-degree arson and first-degree aggravated theft. 

The Yamhill County Fire Investigation Team -- which includes members of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Oregon State Fire Marshal and other Yamhill County fire personnel, responded to the scene to investigate the cause of the fire.  Team members discovered the presence of fire accelerant in the house.  The team suspected arson as the cause of the fire and a criminal investigation began.

A sheriff's office spokesman said the investigation has shown the two teenagers conspired to steal a large amount of money stored in the residence. Nearly $50,000 and other evidence were recovered during the service of search warrants, the YCSO representative said.

Brooks was located and detained on a traffic stop after a surveillance team spotted him at a residence in Willamina Wednesday evening. He was placed in protective custody at the Yamhill County Juvenile Detention Center early Thursday.  

Investigators served a series of search warrants in Willamina about 6:30 p.m. Thursday in conjunction with the arson case. Nicholas Aulig was located during the service of those warrants. He was placed into protective custody and also lodged at the Juvenile Detention Center. 

The investigation is continuing. Additional, peripheral persons of interest are being identified, the YCSO spokesman said.


---- original story ---

WILLAMINA - An adult male died early Wednesday morning as the result a fire that destroyed a rural Willamina home in the 38000 block of Tenbush Lane, a few miles northwest of town. The name of the victim has not been released.

There were two other residents, also not identified by officials. One was transported to a hospital for treatment. The other has been accounted for, according to Yamhill County Sheriff's Office Capt. Chris Ray.

YCSO detectives are investigating the fire, which Ray characterized as "suspicious in nature."

Firefighters responded about 2:30 a.m. to the fully-involved blaze.

An adult was outside the residence when the Yamhill Communications Agency began dispatching West Valley Fire District units.

The blaze was intense and firefighters were unable to immediately access the structure.

Explosions were heard but nearby out-buildings were not in danger, according to YCOM radio traffic.

About 3:30, a firefighter reported the entire structure had collapsed and work was continuing to extinguish the blaze. That effort was completed a short time later.

Tenbush Lane is located off Fort Hill Road. The three bedroom/one bathroom home was built in 1940, according to the Yamhill County Assessor office. It was located off the road at the end of a gravel driveway.

While the sheriff's office is the lead investigative agency, members of the Yamhill County Fire Investigation Team and the Oregon State Fire Marshal were on scene Wednesday, as was an Oregon State Police arson expert.

Personnel from multiple agencies responded to the scene to assist the West Valley district.




Heartwarming story.


I was following this story before the fire was out and it did not go the way I expected. Initially, reading the words "Willamina", "explosions", and "suspicious", I figured drug house. Now that all the info is in, I really wish it had been a drug house. Please continue to report on Mrs. Aulig. The community needs to be there for her.

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