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Homeowner charged with fraud
Large house burned, exploded in March
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A woman whose Dawson County home caught fire and exploded in March has been charged with felony insurance fraud after officials say she exaggerated the extent of her losses from the blaze.

Dawson County Fire Marshal Tim Satterfield said additional charges are likely to be filed against 55-year-old Nancy Ann Phillips, whose current address is listed as Spring Hill in Cobb County.

She surrendered to authorities on Sunday, days after a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Satterfield said the charge is a result of the investigation into the house fire.

"We charged her because what she listed as property or items that she said was in the house, in relation to what the investigation uncovered," he said.

Phillips declined to comment on the matter Friday, according to her Atlanta-based attorney Lisa Wells.

No one was home at 115 Wildwood Court, Dawsonville when the nearly 4,000-square-foot house, which was on the market, burst into flames March 20.

Friends said the family lost nearly everything. The initial assessment by fire investigators was that the explosion could have been propane related.

However, in September, Allstate Insurance officials denied Phillip's compensation claim, stating the house fire was not an accident, according to company spokesman Daniel Groce.

"After a thorough investigation into the insured's claim, Allstate determined the fire was intentionally set, which is not a covered loss," Groce said at the time.

"Further, it was determined the insured misrepresented material facts regarding the claim during the course of our investigation."

According to Satterfield, the insurance company's investigation is separate from the probe his office is conducting into the explosion and blaze.

"Our ongoing investigation is independent of the insurance company," he said. "We're still doing all the fact finding and doing our own investigation and working in conjunction with the state."

Groce has previously said Allstate would not deny the claim or make the accusations "if we didn't have very good reason."