Suspect Arrested In Suspicious Area Fires - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Suspect Arrested In Suspicious Area Fires

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: State and local agencies have apprehend a suspect in recent fires. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Spokane County Fire District 4 collaborated in the investigation into approximately nine (9) suspicious wildfires this past weekend.

On Saturday, July 23, 2011, Spokane County Fire District 4 and Washington Department of Resources responded at 7:43 pm to two wildfires near Mountainside Middle School (Day-Mt. Spokane Rd). These fires were investigated and determined to be suspicious in nature by fire scene investigators. The following day, Sunday, July 24, 2011, both agencies responded at 1:47 pm to two new suspicious wildfires east of Colbert Elementary School (E. Green Bluff Rd). While firefighters were at the Colbert School's incident a new grass and brush fire was started near the Mountainside Middle School sewage plant.

Later on Sunday, both agencies responded at 4:20 pm to a wildfire in the 6600 block of E. Lowe Road. This wildfire was determined to be suspicious. At 5:10 pm two additional suspicious wildfires were responded to near Melody Court and N. Yale Road. On Saturday and Sunday approximately nine (9) suspicious wildfires occurred in this neighborhood.

On Monday morning, officials from DNR and Fire District 4 reviewed information collected by firefighters and fire investigators the previous days. The joint group developed a strategy based upon the collected information for a further in-depth fire investigation. DNR Law Enforcement Officer Allen Gallanger took the lead in the investigation.

On Monday, July 25th, in the afternoon, joint agency investigators questioned a male juvenile about the fires and were successful in obtaining a confession for all the fires. This confession along with the investigation reports will be turned over to the Spokane County Juvenile Prosecutor for action. 

 "This investigation was an excellent example of cooperation between agencies," said District 4 Fire Chief Ed Lewis.  "Collaboration and a successful investigation assist in preventing a lot more damage and the possibility of loss of life."

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