In what Olympia police, as well as Assistant Chief Brent McBride, Firefighter Jake Zvirdys, and Lieutenant Adam Graham believe to be arson, a home located in the 6900 block of Marvin Road Northeast was completely destroyed by fire. Although no suspect has been arrested at this time, officials believe a squatter is responsible for the destructive fire.
In a statement from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, it appears that a squatter had set the home on fire, which led to it becoming fully engulfed. According to Lieutenant Cliff Ziesemer, deputies arrived on scene at roughly 12:15 am where they discovered the home engulfed in flames. In talking to several people who were nearby, a number of people had been living in the home in spite of it being a foreclosed property.
Witnesses told authorities that after an argument broke out among several squatters, one man made a direct threat to burn the house down. One witness in particular claimed that man poured gasoline in various rooms of the home and then told others inside they had just 30 seconds to get out before the place blew up.
The witness, along with numerous other people, tried to get inside a motorhome and drive away from the home. However, after leaving the location, the motorhome crashed after which time the suspected arson took off on foot. To track the man down, police called for the K9 unit but after an exhaustive search, the suspect was not apprehended.
However, as stated by Ziesemer, the man’s identity is known by the Sheriff’s Office. In fact, the man suspected of setting the vacant home on fire actually has a number of outstanding warrants. Based on witness statements and evidence at the scene, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office has enough probable cause to arrest the man on arson once located.
Thanks to the fast work of South Bay firefighters, the blaze was extinguished. The following morning after the incident, firefighters and an arson investigator returned to the home, searching for more evidence that can be used against the wanted party. Fortunately, no one inside or nearby the home sustained injuries in what could have been a disastrous situation.