Mizpah Memorial

A memorial service will held Saturday for victims of Reno's deadliest hotel fire.

Twelve people died and 31 were injured in the Halloween night arson at the historic Mizpah Hotel.

Valerie Moore, a 47-year-old paroled killer and casino cook who lived at the hotel, was arrested the next day. She is charged with 12 counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson. A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 12.

Saturday's service is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church downtown.

The service is being coordinated by Joyce Allen, an American Red
Cross volunteer who helped many Mizpah victims.

Donations will not be accepted at the services. Instead, Allen asked people to donate to the Red Cross or ReStart, which has been helping more than 70 displaced residents find affordable permanent housing.

Of those who died, eight have been identified as Gregory Wiltse, Ernest Duarte, Paul Drum Smith, Christopher Covert, Nadine Nicodemus, Phillip Bridges, Jeremy Wren and Alford Yates.

Authorities are hoping the remaining four can be identified through DNA or dental records.

Neighbors and hotel workers at the Mizpah - who were unaware of
her criminal record - had described her as a "nice woman" and "good tenant." But they said Moore had been drinking and apparently flew into a rage the night of the fire after she quarreled with a fellow hotel resident before setting a mattress afire.

\Moore was paroled last year after serving 17 years in a Nevada
prison for second-degree murder for killing an unemployed Reno
waitress in 1987.


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