October 24, 2016

Charges Filed in Third Kozy Fire

By KBJR News 1

April 23, 2012 Updated Apr 24, 2012 at 7:37 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Formal charges have been filed against a Duluth Man in connection to an April Fire at the Kozy Bar.

55-year-old Mark Starkovich, a former Kozy employee will be in court May 24th, facing felony charges after video surveillance footage caught the break-in as it happened.

The blaze broke out on April 6th and was contained to the buildings laundry room.

This is the third time the Kozy has broken out in flames.

Mark Starkovich is facing two counts.

One charge of negligent fire which is a felony.

He was also charged with misdemeanor trespassing.

Police say surveillance video shows Starkovich attempting to tamper with the rear door of the kozy bar and removing wire on the exterior wall.

He then enters the rear door, quickly exits and goes down a set of concrete stairs.

According to the formal complaint Starkovich then made his way down on alley, east of second Avenue and approaches the laundry room.

The door of the laundry room door is kicked three times, before it opened.

Nobody else is seen entering or exiting the laundry room around the time of the fire.

Building Owner Eric Ringsred credits the surveillance video with catching Starkovich.

"The surveillance cameras have been a big help, I think it's been a big deterrent because we know everything that goes around this place"

According to the criminal complaint, the cost of the damage of the building was in well excess of 2,500 dollars.

When Investigators questioned Starkovich, he admitted to entering the Kozy, but he never admitted to intentionally starting the building on fire.

He did confess to starting papers on fire in order to smoke some marijuana and might have dropped burning matches before leaving the Kozy.

Zach Vavricka

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