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Arson suspect linked to fatal 1998 fire

Elvis Patterson and Lola Atkinson (mugshots provided by Kalamazoo County Sheriffs Dept.)
Elvis Patterson and Lola Atkinson (mugshots provided by Kalamazoo County Sheriffs Dept.)

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Investigators are looking for any connection between a recent attempted arson in Kalamazoo and another arson from 1998 that killed a five-year-old boy.

Both buildings in question were owned by Lola Atkinson, who is the Metropolitan Kalamazoo NAACP vice president and also won the 2012 YWCA Woman of Achievement Award.  She was allegedly caught in the act last week trying to pay off a handyman to set fire to one of her properties in the 1300-block of North Park Street.

The 1998 fire in a home she owned was ruled to have been deliberately set, but no arrests were ever made.

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